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UK braced for storms after woman killed

A YOUNG woman has died after a tree fell on her car during gale force winds in Ireland, hours before the storm began battering the west coast of Scotland.

The 23-year-old died from her injuries after paramedics cut her free from the wreckage, near Mullingar in Co Westmeath.

The accident happened around 4pm yesterday, as the Scottish Environment Protection Agency issued flood warnings and forecasters placed the country on an amber alert ahead of heavy rain and high winds due to hit Scotland overnight.

The alert came into effect from 9pm last night and was set to remain in place until at least 8am today.

Flooding is expected in Argyll and Bute, Ayrshire and Arran, west central Scotland and Tayside, with "very high waves" predicted off the coast.

The west of Scotland was expected to be worst affected with the public warned to be prepared for disruption to transport and possibly power outages. Northern Ireland Electricity said last night that about 1200 customers had no electricity following high winds.

Traffic Scotland operator manager Stein Connelly said: "The Met Office is telling us that the north-west Highlands and Western Isles are likely to face disruption due to the strong winds into Thursday. We would advise people in these areas to prepare for some travel disruption and to allow extra time for their journeys. They should also check the relevant websites for up to date travel information.

"Transport Scotland is in regular contact with The Met Office, Police Scotland, operating companies and Network Rail and will activate our multi-agency team through the night to cover the morning peak to ensure the maximum response."

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