Convenience stores and village shops are open in the areas of the country affected by high winds and flooding overnight, according to the  ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores), which has canvassed members and is reporting no significant problems with store closures or deliveries.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "We we hearing that stores are going to be open as usual this morning, and that is extremely important for weather-beaten communities who need to access their daily essentials.  

"People are being advised not to make unnecessary car journeys in some areas, so local shops become even more important at times like this. As well as providing essential products, shops are the focal point for local people helping each other to deal with these problems.

"Most retailers receive their main deliveries Monday to Saturday, so stores should be well-stocked today.  From talking to wholesalers, we are confident that delivery routes are open and that goods will continue to reach stores into next week."