LIVE: Storm Gertrude rocks the North East as Met Office issues warnings

Warnings issued as Storm Gertrude hits the UK

Warnings issued as Storm Gertrude hits the UK

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An amber alert to "be prepared" for high winds has been issued for the North East as Storm Gertrude hits the UK.

The warning from the Met Office comes as gale-force winds are expected to cause damage as well as disruption to travel.

The storm has been blown in from Arctic causing the Met Office to issue the amber alert for the region.

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Yellow warnings have also been issued for rain, snow and ice for most of the UK.

In Sunderland, drivers are being urged to take care when driving on the A690 in particular when passing through Houghton cut.

From 8.15am, the ferry service linking South Shields to North Shields will not be operating due to the high winds. A bus replacement service will be in operation.

Meanwhile, police have also issued advice to motorists driving in the high winds:

Be prepared for gusts of wind and the slip stream from passing vehicles especially high sided vehicles;

Keep both hands on the steering wheel;

Moderate your speed as vehicles travelling fast are more likely to drift across in a sudden gust of wind;

Watch out for debris as branches can be blown into the road.