A roof was blown off a block of flats and on to a high street as Storm Brendan battered the UK with winds of up to 90mph.

Video footage of the scene in Slough, Berkshire, showed the large metal-framed structure lying in the road on top of a van.

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service said they were “not aware of anyone trapped” under the roof, and Thames Valley Police said there were no reports of serious injuries.

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Taxi driver Haris Baig, 30, said he had to slam on his brakes as the roof crashed down in front of his car.

“At first I thought it was scaffolding, but then I realised the whole roof had come down,” he said. “There was a massive amount of noise. It was a disaster. It was a miracle no one was killed.”

Sebastian Rejnisz, 44, who lives in the affected building, said: “I was moving my car out the back at the time when I heard a boom. I just thought it was the bins. I then went in and opened the front door and saw the roof was on the street. Everyone was just running around.”

Winds in the area reached speeds of more than 50mph on Tuesday evening, according to the Met Office. The strongest gust recorded in the UK was 87mph in South Uist, in the Western Isles of Scotland, on Monday.

It came after Storm Brendan caused widespread travel disruption, including the cancellation of ferries in Scotland. 

Seven flights were diverted from Gatwick Airport due to gales of more than 40mph, with one plane from Belfast being forced to land in Birmingham.

Train passengers faced delays and temporary speed limits due to heavy winds and fallen trees, with affected routes including Great Northern services between Cambridge and Kings Lynn, Cross Country services between Southampton and Bournemouth and on the South Western line between Farnborough and Basingstoke.

The Environment Agency (EA) and the Met Office warned that the storm had increased the risk of flooding, particularly along the south coast of England.

Barriers were put up in Newcastle Quayside amid fears the River Tyne could surge, while the FA Cup replay between Tranmere Rovers and Watford was one of several matches postponed due to waterlogged pitches.

More than 40 flood warnings and 160 flood alerts were in force across England and Scotland on Tuesday evening. The most serious were clustered on the south coast in Dorset.

EA flood duty manager Sarah Cook said: “Strong winds and high tides could lead to large waves and localised flooding along parts of the south coast of England over the coming days.

“We are advising people to sign up for flood warnings and to take extra care when walking along the coast – large waves can be dangerous.”

Two Met Office yellow weather warnings for wind and rain remain in force in the south east of England until Wednesday morning.

Further rain is expected on Thursday, particularly in the west of the UK.

The independent

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