Storm Eleanor has unleashed violent winds of up to 100mph across the UK, leaving thousands of homes without power and injuring motorists.

Widespread disruption is expected on Wednesday after the storm swept across the country overnight carrying heavy rain, hail and dramatic thunder and lightning.

Falling trees caused injuries in several parts of the country when they fell on moving cars.

A yellow warning of wind was extended for all of England and Wales, most of Northern Ireland and the Scottish Borders until 7pm on Wednesday after an amber warning was put in place for the early hours.

As the storm bore down on the UK and Ireland, tens of thousands of homes and businesses suffered power outages.

HeraldScotland:

They included 55,000 properties in the Republic and 20,000 customers in Northern Ireland.

Around 2,500 properties between Cornwall and the Midlands were also blighted by power outages, largely due to flying debris, Western Power Distribution said.

There were roughly 60 incidents reported as Storm Eleanor barrelled across the network overnight, with Mid-Devon experiencing the worst damage, according to a spokeswoman.

READ MORE: Scotland still under flood warnings after Storm Eleanor brings 77mph gusts

Several major bridges were closed due to high winds and there were numerous reports of fallen trees blocking roads including the M25.

Roads became perilous in some areas, with one man injured in Hensol, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, when a tree fell on his car, the Welsh Ambulance Service said.

In England, another falling tree injured two men overnight when it crashed into their car, Hampshire Police said.

Officers were called to Lyndhurst Road in the New Forest at around 3.20am, and both occupants of the Ford Focus were taken to hospital by ambulance.

Winds from the storm were particularly powerful in coastal areas, including in Cornwall, where a tide-battered harbour wall in Portreath partially collapsed on Wednesday morning.

Cornwall Police said they were called at around 5.50am due to a very high tide and water coming on to the road.

Closer to shore, cracks began to form in the harbour wall and water poured through it, while some steps collapsed.

A spokeswoman for Cornwall Police said a 25ft to 30ft section was later knocked down further along the wall, but added there was no risk to anybody.

HeraldScotland:

Overturned vehicles forced closures on the A1M near Hatfield in Hertfordshire, the M6 near Lancaster and M5 near Worcester, where a recovery operation was required to clear up the contents of a lorry left spilled on the road.

An object in overhead lines between London Paddington and Hayes reduced the number of trains leaving the major hub, while power outages halted rail services between Letchworth Garden City and Cambridge.

The Met Office said gusts of 100mph were recorded at Great Dun Fell in Cumbria at 1am, while wind speeds reached 90mph at Orlock Head in Northern Ireland on Tuesday evening.

READ MORE: Scotland still under flood warnings after Storm Eleanor brings 77mph gusts

Gusts up to 89mph were recorded on the Isle of Wight at around midnight, while in Northolt, north-west London, speeds of up to 73mph were detected and 77mph gusts were recorded in High Bradfield, South Yorkshire.

Meteorologist Becky Mitchell said the risk of more "violent storm-force gusts" had lessened, although wind speeds of between 70mph and 80mph could hit some parts.

"Storm Eleanor has swept through and the eye is now crossing the North Sea, although there will continue to be strong gusts through the day," she said.

"We have seen some heavy showers push through across the south of the UK along with hail, loud thunder and lightning, which has woken people up.

"It is possible there will be quite widespread disruption this morning and it is worth checking before you travel."

HeraldScotland:

The Severn River Crossing and the Orwell Bridge in Suffolk were closed in the early hours due to strong winds.

Highways England said there was a possibility that the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge would have to close and the east tunnel of the Dartford Crossing had been shut in case it had to take diverted traffic.

Police forces in Cumbria, Suffolk, Norfolk and Humberside were among those to issue warnings that downed trees had blocked routes.

Isle of Man Police said infrastructure staff worked through the night to remove trees from the roads, while there were multiple reports of roofs coming off buildings, flooding and mud debris.

READ MORE: Scotland still under flood warnings after Storm Eleanor brings 77mph gusts

As well as the problems posed by high winds, the Environment Agency has issued 39 flood warnings and 109 flood alerts, with coastal areas under threat from a combination of a high tide and large waves.

The Thames Barrier was being closed to protect London from swelling tides.

In Cheshire the RSPCA was called to a road in Poynton where a swan had taken up residence in a puddle, blocking traffic

A member of the public was injured when a tree was brought down by ferocious winds on the A46, West Mercia Police said.

Officers were called to reports of a tree on the road, but, while there, another tree fell and injured the man.

He was taken to hospital with a suspected leg injury following the incident in Ashton-under-Hill, according to reports.

A body was recovered from the sea near Splash Point in Seaford, East Sussex, on Wednesday morning.

The remains were spotted in the water at around 8am, according to Sussex Police, who informed the coastguard.

It is not clear whether the person was swept into the water by the weather conditions.

Flooding risks could remain for coastal areas for several days, the Environment Agency has warned, as it urged people not to attempt "storm selfies".

Flood duty manager Neil Davies said: "As the unsettled weather continues, large waves combined with high tides could lead to coastal flooding over the next few days, particularly in the west and south-west of England.

"Our frontline teams are on the ground to check and maintain defences and support any communities affected.

"We urge people to stay safe on the coast - take extreme care on coastal paths and promenades, and don't put yourself in unnecessary danger trying to take 'storm selfies'.

"If you're travelling, please check your route before setting off and don't drive through flood water.

"We will issue flood alerts and warnings as necessary, so please check www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk for the latest advice or call Floodline on 0345 988 1188."

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks said it had restored power to 18,000 homes since midnight.

READ MORE: Scotland still under flood warnings after Storm Eleanor brings 77mph gusts

The distributor provides electricity to 3.8 million people across northern Scotland and parts of central England.

It said 700 households were without power for more than six hours and there had been 37 high voltage faults.

A Twitter post from the company said: "Our operational teams are busy repairing damages affecting the remaining customers.

"Thank you all so much for your patience throughout and we're sorry for any inconvenience caused."