SCHOOLS in Ceredigion and Powys will be closed tomorrow due to Storm Eunice.

All railway services have also been suspended with high winds forecast for the entire country.

In a statement sent out to all schools in the county, seen by the Cambrian News, Ceredigion County Council says: “Ceredigion schools will be closed tomorrow (18.2.22) due to the very high winds forecast across the county.

“Winds could reach up to 70-80 miles per hour, with stronger gusts possible.

“Information has been provided by the Local Resilience Forum, and organisations such as Welsh Government, Met Office and Natural Resources Wales that the conditions as a result of the storm are highly likely to cause significant damage to buildings and travelling in such conditions would be dangerous.

“We do not wish to take any unnecessary risks and compromise the safety of children, young people and staff. Pupils will be able to continue with their learning on line, with schools setting appropriate tasks for the 18 February.”

In a bulletin to parents, Ysgol Plascrug headteacher, Berian Lewis said: “I fully support this decision in light of the forecast and would urge you to read the Met Office weather warning carefully and adjust your plans accordingly. Teachers will place work on your child’s Teams page in the morning.”

Powys County Council has also confirmed this afternoon that all schools in the county will be closed on Friday.

Announcing that rail services will be suspended on Friday, Network Rail said: “All rail services in Wales will be suspended on Friday 18 February to keep passengers safe as Storm Eunice is expected to bring gusts of up to 100mph in some areas.

“Train services will be suspended for the whole day, with disruption likely to continue into the weekend, so that more than 1000 miles of track can be checked and cleared of debris and fallen trees.

“Winds of up to 100mph could hit the most westerly parts of Wales, around the Pembrokeshire coastline, while winds of between 60 and 80mph could impact inland across Wales and the borders area.

“Due to the level of extreme weather expected, rail replacement services will not be able to operate as the road network will also be disrupted.

“Transport for Wales is allowing passengers with tickets for tomorrow (18 Feb) to travel today or over the weekend, if services have resumed by then. Original tickets will be valid for these journeys.

GWR is also allowing passengers to travel on alternative days with tickets valid today through to and including Monday 21 February.

“Avanti West Coast passengers with tickets for Friday can use their tickets today or on Saturday 19 February.

“The decision has been made jointly by Network Rail and train operators with the safety of passengers and railway staff paramount.”

Bill Kelly, Network Rail Wales & Borders route director, said: “The decision to temporarily close the railway in Wales has not been made lightly but the safety of passengers and staff is our top priority.

“Storm Eunice is expected to bring extreme high winds of up to 100mph and in places it is very likely trees and debris will be blown onto train lines.

“We are sorry for the disruption caused by closing the railway and we will continue to work hard, along with our train operator colleagues, to get train services back up and running as soon as it is safe to do so.

“Passengers who are planning to travel over the weekend are strongly advised to check before they travel as the unpredictable nature of storms such as Storm Eunice means the impact on services can change quickly.”

Martyn Brennan, Operations Director at Transport for Wales, said: “The safety of our customers and our colleagues sits at the very heart of what we do and for this reason, we have taken the difficult decision to suspend all TfW services Friday until it is safe to re-open. The extreme weather forecast for Storm Eunice is very concerning, so we are strongly advising people not to attempt to travel during this time as services will not be operating.

“For those who have already purchased a ticket to travel during Storm Eunice, they can choose to either travel today, Thursday 17, on Saturday 19 or on Sunday 20.

“Alternatively, customers can claim a full refund in the normal way. I would like to thank customers for their understanding and support.”