122mph gust recorded on Isle of Wight in new provisional record as Storm Eunice batters UK

A wind gust of 122mph has been recorded on the Isle of Wight in what is thought to be a new record for England, the Met Office said.

The wind speed was reported at The Needles on the Isle of Wight as millions of Britons were urged to stay at home as Storm Eunice hit the UK.

Until now the record for a low-level location in England, had been 118mph at Gwennap Head in Cornwall on 15 December 1979.

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The strongest gust ever recorded in the UK was 173mph at Cairngorm summit in the Highlands of Scotland in 1986.

Weather alerts were issued nationwide – including rare red warnings for wind – as the Met Office warned “significant gusts” could lead to flying debris endangering lives.

Storm Eunice has left thousands of homes without power and forced schools and businesses to shut.

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It has also caused major travel disruption with road closures and the cancellation of bus and train services, flights and ferry sailings.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote on Twitter: “We should all follow the advice and take precautions to keep safe.

“I thank responders for all their efforts.”

Home Office minister Damian Hinds said the Army is on “high readiness stand-by” to help.

He told Sky News: “We are strongly encouraging people to take precautions and make sure they stay safe.”