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Strongest ever Brit gales recorded in August with 74mph during Storm Francis

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Storm Francis has shattered the UK's August wind speed weather records for England and Wales.

Parts of the two UK states have been battered with strong gusts of over 70mph and heavy rain, with Met Office weather warnings to remain in place until Wednesday.

Homes have been flooded, trees have fallen, rail lines blocked and campers rescued, with forecasters warning of further disruption yet to come.

The Met Office issued an amber warning for very strong winds across most of Wales and central England between 2pm and 5pm on Wednesday.

Various spots in England and Wales have seen their highest ever gusts of wind broken for August, according to the weather authority.

Preliminary record gusts of 74mph have been recorded at Lake Vyrnwy in Powys, Wales – the strongest August wind speed here since 1994.

Aberdaron in the Welsh county of Gwynedd also saw a fierce 71mph, the highest here since August 1996.

Meanwhile blasts of 68mph were recorded at Pembrey Sands, 52mph was recorded at Shobdon in Herefordshire, and 49mph was recorded at Pershore in Worcestershire – all record-breaking.

Gusts of 67mph were also recorded at the Isles of Scilly between 8am and 9am on Tuesday morning, while they reached 73mph at the Needles on the Isle of Wight in the same period.

In response emergency services have warned the public to take extra care in the stormy conditions across the UK, particularly along the coast.

The fire service in Northern Ireland said 37 people were rescued from flood water.

Elderly residents had to be rescued from the South Down coastal resort town of Newcastle after a river burst its banks, and in Draperstown, Co Londonderry, rescuers had to save nine people from inside a house, along with four outside who were trying to help.

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The Met Office said some of the highest UK rainfall totals were recorded in Northern Ireland, with Lough Fea seeing 55mm, Killylane seeing 44.4mm and Ballypatrick seeing 43.8mm.

South Wales Police said they were involved in two separate water searches from the swollen River Taff and fire crews had to rescue holidaymakers from a flooded campsite in the town of St Clears, Carmarthenshire, after river levels rose in the area.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said nine people and two dogs were rescued by fire service personnel using a swift rescue sledge, lines and wading gear.

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Crews also gave medical treatment to one man and evacuated 30 other people from a flooded caravan site in Wiseman's Bridge, Narberth, while 12 caravans were also removed from the site.

A number of homes in Wales were also said to have been hit by flooding in Llanelli, Neath, Whitland and Tonyrefail, while some roads across the country were left underwater.

Three Met Office yellow weather warnings of heavy rain or strong winds cover most of the UK on Tuesday, with this now extended into Wednesday afternoon.

Warnings of rain cover Northern Ireland, southern Scotland, northern England and parts of North Wales.

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