Storm Erik claims THIRD life as kitesurfer dies in Devon while baby avoids death by inches as pram blown into road

The man was airlifted to hospital from Saunton Sands beach but sadly couldn't be saved.


Ambulance paramedics and coastguards were scrambled to the beach at around 11am.

The tragedy came after a terrifying video emerged showing the moment ferocious gales from Storm Erik swept a parent's pram into the path of an oncoming car.

The footage shows a dad chasing after the pram after a brutal gust snatched it from his hands and dragged it into the road.

The child can be heard crying as the parent dashes into the road and the person filming the scene shouts out a warning.

Fortunately, both the child and dad escaped unharmed.

The accident happened in Dublin yesterday as  Storm Erik battered the country.

The kitesurfer is the third person to die after Storm Erik barrelled into the UK bringing monster winds of 84mph.

A spokesman for the Marine and Coastguard Agency said earlier: "A kitesurfer has been taken to North Devon District Hospital by the Devon Air Ambulance.

"We were informed by the ambulance service of a casualty on the beach."

Two people died yesterday as wind speeds reached 84 mph in some parts.

In west Wales a large tree fell on a country road and collided with a van, tragically killing the man inside at around 10am.


Meanwhile, a huge tree weighing several tonnes crushed an Alfa Romeo carrying a man as it travelled along the A384 at Buckfastleigh, Devon at 5.30am.

The 50-year-old, from Totnes in Devon, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, while the female driver of a Hyundai miraculously escaped with only minor injuries.

Footage showed a British Airways plane forced to abandon its initial landing at Heathrow airport after strong winds put the aircraft off-balance seconds before it was about to touch down.

Also on Friday a tree fell on to a double-decker bus in Dorset, but no injuries were reported.

The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for strong gales as the storm continues to lash the UK for a second day, causing death and destruction.

Wintry showers will affect northern England and Scotland today – ahead of an inch-and-a-half of snowfall in parts of the region on Sunday, according to weather forecasters.

The Met Office is predicting "severe gales" in its weather warning – which is set to last until 3pm today.

Heavy showers will also hit mainly western and northern parts.


Here, the rain mixed with melting snow will create a risk of localised flooding, the Met Office said.

In its weather warning, forecasters said: "Expect 20-30 mm of rain widely across the area, with up to 60 mm over high ground.

"Melting of snow will contribute to the risk of flooding."

The weather has also wreaked havoc across transport networks.

London North Eastern Railway said an 80mph speed restriction has been placed on trains between Leeds and York because of the wind, meaning journeys are being delayed.
Highways England said the A20 near Dover remains closed while a CCTV mast that had been seen swaying in the wind above the carriageway is repaired.
One lane is closed on the Severn Bridge between South Wales and south west England due to the strong winds.

And the A548 is closed in both directions around Mostyn, north Wales, because a tree had fallen across the carriageway.


Meteorologist Alex Burkill said: "It's going to be another very windy one, particularly across northern England, Northern Ireland, southern Scotland and northern Wales. They're going to have very strong winds.

"We could therefore see some further problems on roads."

As winds ease off later on Saturday, some hill snow is forecast in central and southern parts of England and into Wales, Mr Burkill said, before calmer conditions on Sunday.

It's going to be another very windy one, particularly across northern England, Northern Ireland, southern Scotland and northern Wales. They're going to have very strong winds

"That (hill snow) will clear through Sunday morning, with blustery showers following behind. Meanwhile, in the north it's going to be a fairly bright day. There will be a few showers perhaps and it could turn windy but not as windy as today by any means."

A forecast by Meteogroup for Saturday read: "In the morning there will be rain and strong winds in Scotland and a few showers in Northern Ireland, northern England and north Wales.

"It will be dry with sunny spells in the south.

"In the late afternoon and evening, rain will affect southern parts of England and Wales but northern areas will be mostly dry. Windy."

Outlooks have warned of powerful gusts of 50 to 60mph inland – and occasionally 70mph along exposed coasts.


For tonight, the Meteogroup forecast added: "It will be a cloudy start across Wales, central and southern England with outbreaks of rain.

"There will be clear spells and a few showers in the north.

"Through the night, it will remain wet in the south with clear spells in the north but there will be rain in northern Scotland.

"Brisk winds in the south-west later."

Winds are expected to finally ease off by Sunday.

From Sunday to Tuesday the UK will see more sunshine and showers, but the south is set for fairly persistent rain.

Storm Erik was named by Irish forecaster Met Eireann on Thursday and overnight brought winds of 56mph to Cork.

The unsettled weather over the next few days will come ahead of plunging temperatures next week.

February 14 could be the coldest weather for NINE years as icy conditions return.

The wintry conditions are expected to continue into the half-term break from February 18.




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Storm Erik leaves man fighting for life after 70mph gales blow huge tree on to cars trapping people inside

Witnesses rushed to lift heavy boughs and branches off the crushed cars in Buckfastleigh, Devon, this morning – with forecasters warning the chaotic weather brought by Storm Erik is set to worsen.

The wet and windy weather conditions could see travel chaos and possible power cuts this weekend as coastal communities have been warned to be aware of large waves and spray.

And while the worst of the weather is yet to hit, emergency services were forced to rush to the Devon crash on the A384 about 5.30am today when a huge tree crashed down onto two cars.

Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed: "The driver of one car has sustained serious injuries.

"A woman has also been extracted from the other vehicle by the fire service and has been taken to Derriford Hospital with minor injuries."

A lorry driver used his HGV to form a blockade to stop any more traffic approaching the scene in the pre-dawn darkness hitting the tree across the road.

It comes as the Met Office issued two weather warnings for Friday for strong winds across Northern Ireland and western Scotland until the evening, and for heavy rain in Scotland right through until Saturday afternoon.

There will be some quite nasty travelling conditions out there this morning

Met Office meteorologist Sarah Kent warned the stormy weather will result in some "quite nasty travelling conditions".

She said: "It's going to be a noticeably windy day everywhere today.

"And that is going to be in association with outbreaks of heavy rain too, so there will be some quite nasty travelling conditions out there this morning."

Homes were blacked out and ferries cancelled in the West Country as the boisterous weather hit today.

Western Distribution power company's engineers are battling to restore supplies to around 120 homes in the Exeter area of Devon where families had cold breakfasts after the lights went out.

And while there is expected to be a lull in the fiercest winds on Friday evening, gusts will pick up again around midnight, when a warning for wind will cover Northern Ireland, southern Scotland and much of Northern England.

The forecast has warned of powerful gusts of 50 to 60mph inland and occasionally 70mph along exposed coasts.

Winds are expected to finally ease off by Sunday.

Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said: “A deep area of low pressure is expected to track across northern Britain later on Friday and through early Saturday.

“Gales will become widespread later on Friday, persisting well into Saturday whilst becoming more westerly.”

He added: “In addition, bands of heavy rain sweeping eastwards on Friday, in particular, will present an additional hazard.”

Storm Erik was named by Irish forecaster Met Eireann on Thursday and overnight brought winds of 56mph to Cork.

The unsettled weather over the next few days will come ahead of plunging temperatures next week.

February 14 could be the coldest weather for NINE years as icy conditions return.

The wintry conditions are expected to continue into the half-term break from February 18.

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Peterborough area spared from winter storm that struck southern Ontario

Peterborough was spared from Mother Nature’s wrath that struck southern Ontario overnight Tuesday.

Dan Duran, Global Peterborough’s weather analyst, said Peterborough and area received only five centimetres of snow overnight — far off the 15-20 cm of snow that had been anticipated for the region.

School buses were operating on schedule in the city, Peterborough County and Northumberland County.

However, Student Transportation Services of Central Ontario cancelled bus services for the Clarington area.

On Tuesday morning, there were reports of a three-vehicle collision on Highway 115 south of Peterborough in the northbound lanes.

Temperatures are expected to drop again later Tuesday, Duran said.

More to come.

WATCH: Snow storm hits GTA, causing traffic and flight delays

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Winter storm takes aim at Atlanta ahead of Super Bowl, 5 years after 'snow jam' struck city

These 2014 photos show how a snowstorm left its impact on Atlanta, a city known for grinding to a halt even in relatively light snowfalls. (AP, File)

Sunday’s Super Bowl will be played in downtown Atlanta in Mercedes-Benz Stadium — and another winter storm is threatening the city this week five years after cars, trucks and school buses became marooned on Atlanta freeways in what became known as a “snow jam.”

Just as thousands of fans start pouring into town for Super Bowl 53, a winter storm watch goes into effect at 4 a.m. Tuesday for Atlanta, a city known for grinding to a halt even in relatively light snowfalls.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday said state offices in more than 30 counties in the northern part of the state would be closed Tuesday, including those in the Atlanta area.

Midwest winter storm brings coldest temperatures of the season

The National Weather Service projects that up to an inch of snow is possible Tuesday in Atlanta, with up to 2 inches in far northern suburbs. It's coming from the same storm system that triggered blizzard conditions in the Midwest.

Forecasters warn of the possibility of ice-glazed roads and highways.

The potential for black ice is “the overriding concern,” said Homer Bryson, director of the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency.

“Temperatures are going to plummet,” the governor said at a Monday news conference.

“It’s very similar to what we saw in 2014 where the roadways will not have time to dry off before the moisture or precipitation on them refreezes,” Kemp said. “And that’s when you have black ice, and that’s what causes wrecks, which causes gridlock and public safety issues, injuries.”

The roof of Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be open if weather permits, officials have said.


There’s a 40 percent chance of showers Sunday, but highs will be near 58 degrees. That’s slightly warmer than average for Feb. 3 in Atlanta, climate records show.

But forecasters say the more immediate threat is Tuesday, when roads could be treacherous.

“It is often easy to pass judgment on how we in Georgia deal with snow and ice, but for those from the north what you do know is that an ice event is very different than a snow event,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Monday. “And because we don’t want a repeat of 2014, we have already begun to pretreat our streets and are paying, particularly, attention to our sidewalks because we do know that we will have many visitors in our tourist areas.”


Forecasters were uncertain how widespread the snowfall will be.

“Some uncertainty continues regarding amounts of snow accumulations and how far south and east the threat may extend,” the weather service said in a Monday update on the approaching storm.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Storm Boy stumbles where the original soared

Rated PG, 99 minutes


Jai Courtney stars as Hideaway Tom and Finn Little as Storm Boy in the new film.Credit:Matt Nettheim

In flashback, Mike tells Madeline about growing up in the Coorong 60 years earlier. If you remember the original film, the location isn't just familiar, but exact. The old shack that Mike (played by Greg Rowe) shared with his reclusive father Tom (Peter Cummins) appears to have been recreated in the same sandhills on Ninety Mile Beach, on the far side of the river mouth. Which is odd, given that they say they didn't want to remake the original film.

Jai Courtney now plays the father, Hideaway Tom, and it's true that his character is closer to the book. He's more jovial than was Peter Cummins, but Cummins' grumpier interpretation improved on the book, by making it easier to understand why they lived this lonely life.

Finn Little steps into Greg Rowe's big shoes. He's one of the strengths of the movie, alongside the pelicans, played by a bunch of boisterous and lovable Pelecanus conspicillatus, trained for the film. Mr Percival, raised from a chick after hunters kill his mother, becomes Storm Boy's companion and best friend. Fingerbone Bill (Trevor Jamieson), an Aboriginal living in the same dunes, teaches the boy about Aboriginal lore and custom.

Storm Boy reflected the politics of the mid-1970s, in just the same way that Thiele's book reflected the early 1960s. David Gulpilil's marvellous performance fitted into the wider project by Australian filmmakers to try to reform white Australian attitudes to Aboriginal culture.

It's no overstatement to say that Gulpilil's Fingerbone Bill was one of the most powerful portrayals of a black man in any film in that era. He strode the beaches and lakes of the Coorong reserve like he owned the place, and this was long before Mabo. He was a proud, beautiful and wise custodian-warrior, chasing off hunters and teaching Storm Boy to read the land and sea.

Trevor Jamieson brings something different to the role: a more modest dignity, perhaps, compared to Gulpilil's blazing masculinity. Both portray Bill as mysterious and steadfast, but the new version ramps up the Aboriginal spirituality in a predictable way, flirting with the supernatural.

Most Australian filmmakers are out of their depth in Aboriginal spirituality – and director Shawn Seet is no different. The Ngarrindjeri custodians of this land were consulted about the script and advised on the sensitivities of location, but you can't legislate for tone – and Seet tries to add a layer of "spiritual" imaging that almost never works. Henri Safran relied on Gulpilil to carry that side of the film in his performance. Nothing more was needed.

If that perfect 1976 film did not exist, would this new one look better? To put it another way, if your children haven't seen the original, will they be delighted or disappointed? I try never to second-guess audience reactions, especially those of children. I imagine some children loving this new film, partly because it's so different to most of what they are offered (almost no CGI, no dragons or superheroes).

I can also imagine the frowns of parents who remember what they felt when they saw the original, as generations of Australians have done. You can't improve a classic. These filmmakers knew that. This is about reworking the tailings of an old mine site, looking for easy money. That tells us something about our own times, unfortunately.

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Thailand's tropical storm Pabuk triggers warning for British holidaymakers

The Foreign Office has advised UK nationals against all but essential travel to provinces on the Thailand-Malaysia border, including areas such as Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.

Tropical storm Pabuk is expected to bring waves up to five metres (16ft) high, gale force winds of nearly 50mph and torrential downpours, according to the Thai Met Office.

Forecasters also warned the severe weather conditions could cause flash flooding and “forest runoffs”.

Thailand’s first tropical storm in three decades killed one person as it made landfall on the south coast on Friday.

Officials said the victim was among the crew of a fishing boat that capsized in strong winds.

Holidaymakers at beach destinations have been urged to move to higher ground.

The storm also threatens to disrupt boat sailings and flights in the neighbouring area of Surat Thani, covering the popular holiday islands of Koh Phangnan, Koh Samui and Koh Tao, according to the Foreign Office.

It has told visitors to follow the advice of local authorities and monitor official weather forecasts.

“Consular support is not available in the parts of Thailand where we advise against all but essential travel,” its website warns.

Britons make more than a million trips to the South East Asian country every year, many at this time of year to catch some winter sun.

A spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) said: “People on holiday in the region are advised to monitor news reports and follow any advice or instructions issued by the local authorities, their travel provider and their accommodation providers.”

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Fast-moving storm will bring rain to Northeast on New Year’s Eve

Two different systems will combine Monday to produce a significant storm system affecting New Year’s Eve plans from the Central Plains to the Northeast. Temperatures will be mild, but revelers in Times Square will need to wear their ponchos and rain boots.

The developing storm will bring multiple hazards Monday and early Tuesday, such as heavy rain, snowfall and severe weather, including tornadoes and strong winds. Winter weather alerts and wind alerts have been issued for much of the Rockies, Upper Midwest, Ohio Valley and Northeast.

Heavy rain was falling across parts of the South and Midwest on Monday morning with rainfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour. Some of this precipitation is moving into the Chicago area, where it is encountering air temperatures near 32 degrees and bringing some freezing rain.

Meanwhile, a separate system is bringing snow across parts of the Dakotas and Minnesota. Nearly one-tenth of an inch of ice has fallen north of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Monday morning and a wind gust of 61 mph was reported in Rapid City, South Dakota.

During the day Monday, these two different systems will combine into a significant, but quick-moving storm. Severe storms are likely along the cold front today in parts of the Tennessee Valley and northern Gulf Coast.

Meanwhile, heavy rain will push into the Northeast with possible isolated flash flooding. Colder air on the back side of this storm will bring some snow for parts of the upper Midwest and Great Lakes.

The intensifying storm will race off to the northeast during the evening hours, and bring strong winds and heavy rain from Philadelphia to Boston, including those ringing in the new year in New York City.

Wind gusts exceeding 30 mph are possible in New England and upstate New York leading to some power outages and downed trees. This is especially a concern in the Boston metro area early Tuesday morning.

Since the storm system is moving fast, snow accumulation and rainfall totals will be kept on the low side. Rainfall of 1 to 2 inches are possible along I-70 from St. Louis to central Pennsylvania, as well as along I-95 from Philadelphia to New Haven, Connecticut.

Snowfall totals of 3 to 6 inches are possible across Wisconsin and Michigan on Monday. Meanwhile, mixing precipitation could cause some ice accumulation in the metro areas of Chicago; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Burlington, Vermont.

Behind the storm, much colder air will dip into the central U.S. with wind chills below zero for a large part of the Northern Rockies and Northern Plains. Wind chills as low as minus 30 are possible in some parts of this region to ring in 2019.

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Winter storm moving east heading into weekend

Most of the eastern U.S. is in the grip of wintry weather with cold temperatures and snowfall.

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Anywhere from 3 to 7.5 inches of snow fell Wednesday from the Carolinas to New Jersey and western New York — producing numerous accidents and spinouts.

Now, a new storm is moving from west to east over the next several days and bringing heavy snow, ice and heavy rain.

The western storm brought more than 2 inches of rain to Southern California and wind gusts to near 70 mph. Also several inches of snow fell in the Southern California mountains Wednesday.

The storm will continue to move through the Southwest on Thursday from California into Arizona and New Mexico with rain and mountain snow. Some minor flash flooding is possible.

By Friday afternoon, the storm system will redevelop in southern Texas and bring with it heavy rain.

Heavy snow and ice will break out to the north on Friday night into Saturday morning from the Texas Panhandle to central Oklahoma.

The storm system will move into the Southeast by Sunday, bringing heavy snow and ice to the southern Appalachian Mountains and heavy rain for the eastern Gulf Coast states. Major ice and snow is forecast for the Carolinas and into Virginia and parts of northern Georgia.

Heavy snow is forecast from the Texas Panhandle to southern Virginia, where locally 6 to 12 inches of snow is possible. Some areas in the southern Appalachian Mountains could see more than a foot of snow.

Some areas from Oklahoma to the Carolinas could see up to half an inch of ice accumulate on cold surfaces — a major deal since this far south they don’t deal well with wintry precipitation.

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