An amber weather alert has been issued between 5am and 9pm today (Friday, February 18), covering Derbyshire as well as much of the country – with a rare red warning in place for London, and the south-east and east of England.
The Met Office has warned of significant disruption throughout the day due to ‘extremely strong winds’ brought by Storm Eunice, with gusts of up to 80mph expected.
There is also a “good chance” that lives could be put at risk due to flying debris, with damage to buildings and homes likely and power lines brought down.
East Midlands Railway (EMR) has warned passengers in Chesterfield and other parts of Derbyshire not to travel, instead urging them to complete journeys on either Saturday, February 19; Sunday, February 20; or Monday, February 21.
Those for whom travel today is vital are advised that a reduced service will be running on the Intercity route between London and Sheffield, via Chesterfield, with only one train running per hour and passengers told that trains are running up to 120 minutes later than advertised.
There will be no trains departing London St Pancras towards Derby and Sheffield after 8.31pm.
The train operator added: “Because of damage to the roof at Matlock station and the increased risk of flying debris, our trains will run between Matlock Bath and Derby all day. Do not attempt to use Matlock Station.”
It will be the second storm to hit the UK this week after Storm Dudley wreaked havoc across Derbyshire, as well as parts of Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland, on Wednesday and Thursday leaving thousands of homes without power.
Many schools across England are already closed due to the half term holidays, with others in places such as Wales, Bristol and Somerset being forced to close today due to the weather.
Schools in Derbyshire appear largely unaffected so far, although this may change as the county prepares for the worst of the winds around midday.
There have been reports that Holly House School in Chesterfield is closed today, however the school cannot be reached for confirmation and it does not appear on Derbyshire County Council's school closure list.
Youlgrave, All Saints C of E (VA) Primary School, in Bakewill will close at 12pm due to the weather warnings in place.
Keep up-to-date with our Storm Eunice live blog here.