The British Met Office has issued flood alerts for the entire Devon and Cornwall coast amidst a storm that has reached the west coast of England and Wale and is expected to impact much of the U.K. over the next two days.
Storm warnings have been issued for the areas coloured in red on the map.
Rain and fierce winds are hitting parts of the UK, as what could be winter's worst storm moves in from the Atlantic.
Emergency services said trees had been uprooted and power lines brought down in south-west England, where winds have reached almost 80mph (130km/h). Severe flood warnings have been issued for the Devon and Cornwall coast. In St Brides, Newport, 170 people were told to evacuate a caravan park overnight.
Meanwhile, forecasters say central Scotland will see blizzards and snow.
The BBC has put together a satellite slide show of the approaching storm. Warnings have been issued by the Environment Agency to stay away from exposed coastline and to watch for floods in the effected areas:
From the Met Office:
Severe Weather Update
9 March 2008
Parts of Southern Britain could see widespread disruption on Monday as severe gales move across the country.
Forecasters at the Met Office, the UK's national weather service, are working closely with the government agencies, emergency services, rail operators and power companies to plan for the disruption likely to be caused by winds up to 70 m.p.h in places.
The worst hit areas are expected to be parts of Wales, western and southern parts of England where all emergency responders are on alert and preparations have been put in place in readiness for the storm.
Graeme Leitch, Public Weather Assurance Manager at the Met Office, said: "Southerly winds are expected to strengthen during the early hours of Monday causing severe gales. Then, after a brief respite, further westerly severe gales are forecast for during the day and into the early hours of Tuesday. Coastal areas of the extreme Southwest could see gusts up to 80 m.p.h, with gusts of at least 60 m.p.h further inland. There could be a risk of disruption to transport links and power supplies.”
David Rooke, Head of Flood Risk Management at the Environment Agency said: “People living in properties in low lying exposed coastal areas of Wales, the Southwest and Southern England should make sure they are monitoring the situation by checking flood updates on the Environment Agency website or ringing Floodline.
"The strong winds will combine with spring high tides to significantly elevate the water levels along the coast which is likely to cause some flooding.
"We understand that people are fascinated by the sea but at times like this we urge them not to go and watch the high waves – it is extremely dangerous and only takes a few seconds for someone to be knocked off their feet, into the water.”People are advised to stay in touch with the latest weather forecast and warnings on the Met Office website, and tune into local radio and TV. Those concerned by the risk of coastal flooding should call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 for the latest flood warnings in their area.
All residents in impacted areas are urged to evacuate where and when instructed and/or to stay inside and listen for flood and wind reports otherwise.