HIGH winds have caused problems for residents and motorists across the region.

The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings of wind and snow for Scotland, the North of England and Northern Ireland on Wednesday.

This afternoon a flood warning was issued for Sandsend, near Whitby, where strong northerly winds may increase wave action and windblown spray along the coast.

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A flood alert was issued right along the North Sea cpoast between Staithes and Whitby, including the tiday River Esk.

The Northern Echo:

Map of Sandsend, Whitby, where a flood alert has been issued. The area in red is at threat from a combimnation of strong winds and hight tides

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service attended 16 weather-related incidents regarding dangerous structures, these included loose roof tiles and damage to trees, from 2.30am onwards.

The most serious involved the collapse of the gable end of a house in Institute Terrace, Perkinsville, near Chester-le-Street, County Durham at 3am.

A spokesman said: “CDDFRS deployed one fire appliance from High Handenhold to attend the incident, which arrived at 3.09am.

“Many bricks had fallen as the gable end collapsed and nearby cars were damaged.

“The occupier of the house was evacuated and the gas and electric at the property were disabled by firefighters.

“Thankfully no one was injured.

“Durham County Council’s building control team was contacted and cordoned off the area around the house.

“CDDFRS left the incident at about 4.20am.”

Four of County Durham’s Household Waste Recycling Centres have been closed due to high winds.

Centres at Annfield Plain, Coxhoe, Tudhoe and Roman Way, in Bishop Auckland remain closed this morning with Durham County Council saying it is monitoring the situation.

A tree fell against a house in Darlington.

A spokesperson for County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service said: “We were called to a property on Coniscliffe Road, but we did not carry out any action.

“There was no structural damage to the property”

In Newcastle, a roof collapsed into Newgate Street in the early hours.

The road has been closed to pedestrians and traffic while a council engineer inspects the building.

The A19 Tees Flyover is closed both ways to high sided vehicles due to strong winds between A66 and A1046 Haverton Hill Road (Portrack Interchange) and the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough is closed to all vehicles between Vulcan Street junction & A1046 Port Clarence Road.

The A66 was closed to high sided vehicles between Scotch Corner and the A6 / A686 but has since reopened. 

At 5.30pm Northern Powergrid said it had restored power to more than 40,800 customers across the North-East and Yorkshire and continues to work to get the lights back on for the 1,090 

A gust of 93mph was recorded at High Bradfield in South Yorkshire, a high site, while Tiree was hit by a 77mph gust and South Uist by one of 73mph.

The strong winds caused damage across the country overnight, with power cuts reported in Scotland and north-east England.

Durham Constabulary reported that "due to weather conditions, Longclose bank in Consett is closed in one direction".

Cars are able to travel down from the A694 towards Medomsley, but unable to travel up towards the A694.

The Forth Road Bridge near Edinburgh has been closed in both directions after a lorry was blown over at around 2am.

No-one was injured but the bridge is likely to remain closed for some time as the strong winds hamper recovery efforts.

Northumbria Police said trees and walls had come down overnight, with one street in Newcastle city centre closed because of wind damage.

West Yorkshire Police said there had been several road closures because of fallen trees.

And in North Yorkshire, the fire service said winds had caused a trampoline to blow on to a conservatory, damaging windows.

In Scotland, ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne warned of "heavy disruptions" across the network, with some sailings cancelled for the rest of the day.

Tricky driving conditions are expected on Wednesday as gusts of up to 75mph and wintry weather sweep across northern areas.

Several inches of snow could settle on higher ground in parts of Scotland, while lower areas will receive a dusting.

Forecaster Craig Snell said the snowfall could lead to "dangerous conditions on the roads" and the strong winds could force bridge closures and cause lorry buffeting.

He said the winds would drop off during the afternoon but pick up again by Wednesday evening, leading to a combination of wind and snow.

There is also a chance of thunder and lightning, which could disrupt the power supply and bring so-called "thundersnow".

Mr Snell added that it would be "a very unsettled and cold day across the northern half of the country".

Temperatures may drop to minus 5C (23F) in parts of Scotland, but freezing conditions are possible elsewhere in England.

The forecaster said it might feel mild in the morning across the country, but people would "notice the chill" when they headed home after work.

By Thursday, the stream of cold air will spread further south, bringing hazardous conditions to much of the UK.

The Met Office's snow warning extends to parts of north-west England on Thursday - with a risk of wintry weather in southern England, while strong winds and wintry showers will continue to affect Scotland.

Around 0.8in (2cm) of snow is possible in low-lying areas, while 3.9in (10cm) could fall on high ground.

Mr Snell said the next few days would be "distinctly colder", with bitter weather across all parts of the country by Thursday.

He added that it would remain "windy and cold on Friday, with potentially some large waves and coastal flooding going down the eastern side of the country".