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England, Wales brace for worst storm in years

Millions of people across England and Wales have been warned to prepare for the worst storm to batter Britain in five years, expected to hit the south-west late on Sunday and the rest of the country in the early hours of Monday.
The Met Office has issued two severe weather warnings: a yellow warning for floods and an amber warning for high winds, with the potential for gusts of 60-80 miles per hour quite widely and locally over 80 miles per hour, especially on exposed coasts.
The storm, which has formed in the Atlantic Ocean, is expected to run northeastwards from the south-west of England and Wales and across the Midlands before moving out over the North Sea by Monday afternoon, forecasters said.
Forecasters also warned of a risk of localised flooding with 20 to 40 millimetres of rain expected to fall within within just six to nine hours.
Frank Saunders, chief forecaster at the Met Office, said on Saturday night: "We are confident that a severe storm will affect Britain on Sunday night and Monday. We are now looking at refining the details about which areas will see the strongest winds and the heaviest rain."
The office said the public should be prepared for the risk of falling trees as well as damage to buildings and other structures, bringing disruption to transport and power supplies.
The Environment Agency has seven flood warnings in place for with three for the Midlands region and the remainder in the north-east, north-west and south-west of England and Wales.
An agency spokesperson said: "Environment Agency teams are out working to minimise river flood risk, clearing debris from streams and unblocking culverts.
"We will continue to closely monitor the situation ready to issue flood warnings if needed. We are supporting local authorities who will respond to any reports of surface water flooding."
Home insurers were bracing themselves for the prospect of a high number of storm damage claims.
The forecast of storms has also caused the cancellation of ferry services on Sunday and Monday between Plymouth and Roscoff as well as Penzance and the Isles of Scilly.
The storm has been named St Jude after the patron saint of lost causes, whose feast day is on Monday.
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