Economy dealt £100m blow after winds sweep through UK

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THE hurricane-force winds that battered Scotland this week could cost the country’s economy around £100 million, business experts have warned.

Early closures, blocked roads, power outages and employees staying at home caused a drop in both revenue and productivity.

Analysts from professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said the lost revenue caused by winter weather could push already struggling businesses over the edge.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of properties were still without electricity yesterday, with the possibility that some homes could have no power until tomorrow.

The Met Office said that the ferocious winds hit top speeds of 165mph recorded on the summit of the Cairngorms in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

A 100-metre-high wind turbine burst into flames in North Ayrshire on Thursday and another crashed to the ground in Coldingham in the Scottish Borders.

North Yorkshire bore the brunt of the storm in this region as torrential rain sparked wide-spread flooding across the county.

Two people remain in hospital with mild hypothermia after their car was swept into a swollen river.

An RAF helicopter rescued the pair at Thornton Rust, between Bainbridge and Aysgarth in Wensleydale.

North Yorkshire’s rivers, including the River Ure at Boroughbridge, burst their banks and a bridge over the River Swale on the B6270, near Reeth, collapsed.

However, the region’s weather this weekend is expected to be milder, with rivers returning to normal levels and winds dying down.