Photos: Storm Hector creates travel chaos, thousands of power cuts in northern UK

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
June 15, 2018, 1:44:07 PM EDT

Thousands were left without power and travel nightmares ensued as Storm Hector slammed the northern United Kingdom Wednesday night into Thursday.

"Hector became the first windstorm to be named by the Met Office and Met Eireann during the summer since naming of storms began in 2015," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Eric Leister said.

Winds reached 100 mph (161 km/h) at the very exposed Cairngorms Mountains in Scotland, according to the Met Office.

UK wind

Winds downed a tree in Carnmoney in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, on 14 June 2018. (Twitter Image/@JohnReadj)

Hector fell just shy of setting the record for the strongest wind gust in Northern Ireland during June, which is 76 mph (122 km/h), when winds peaked at 74 mph (119 km/h) at Orlock Head.

Whilst the worst of the storm has passed, residents are now cleaning up the wind damage that was left behind as power restoration efforts continue.

Storm Hector cut power to more than 23,000 customers of Northern Ireland Electricity Networks.

"There are over 300 incidences of weather-related damage to the network such as broken lines and broken poles which are disrupting supplies," the company stated.

United Kingdom interactive radar
United Kingdom weather center
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Power was also cut across parts of Scotland and northern England, including to roughly 3,500 customers of Electricity North West.

Significant disruptions to travelers ensued as downed trees and wires blocked roads and rail lines.

Officials were forced to close numerous bridges to high-sided vehicles across Scotland due to the high winds. This included the Friarton Bridge on Motorway 90.

UK wind 2

One of the many trees downed by Storm Hector in Gateshead, England, on 14 June 2018. (Twitter Image/@ThunderbirdWPC)

"Typically, storm systems are less intense from late spring into early autumn," Leister said. "They usually fail to reach the criteria for being officially named, but Hector was the exception."

The U.K. is expected to remain in an unsettled weather pattern through at least early next week.

Whilst any disturbance will pale in comparison to Storm Hector, showery spells can occur on a nearly daily basis across the northern U.K. into Monday.

Saturday may be the wettest of the next several days with bouts of steadier rain. Thundery showers can also put outdoor plans to start the weekend in jeopardy across parts of the U.K.

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