RESIDENTS have been reminded to stay vigilant as severe gale force winds caused by Storm Ciara hit the Black Country.

The Met Office has issued a rare amber warning and say it will be very windy and wet today with some “atrocious” travelling conditions at times across the West Midlands.

Storm Ciara is expected to bring a range of impacts including delays and cancellations to air, ferry and train services; damage to buildings such as tiles blown from roofs and a good chance of power cuts.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist, Frank Saunders, said: “Storm Ciara will bring damaging winds and heavy rain across the UK this weekend and we have issued a range of severe weather warnings giving people time to prepare for potential impacts of the storm.