STRONG winds have caused traffic delays and power shortages across East Lancashire as Storm Ali rolls across the region.

A tree has fallen on Blackburn Road in Rishton, near the Mecure Dunkenhalgh Hotel and has blocked both ways.

Hundreds of people in Burnley, Whalley, Nelson and Gisburn are without electricity due to the weather.

Another tree has fallen across the railway line near Stubbins and has delayed several services.

As Storm Ali rolled in on Wednesday morning the Met Office updated its amber weather warning of wind, saying there is now a high likelihood of impacts across a swathe of the country.

Met Office meteorologist Mark Wilson told the Press Association: "Storm Ali is already bringing some pretty heavy rain across Northern Ireland and south-west Scotland and is just starting to creep into north-west England.

"In terms of wind strength, the speeds are coming up, with a gusts of just over 60mph in the west of Ireland.

"Around eight, nine and ten o'clock winds will really start ramping up and go further still."