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Massive Storm System Batters UK, France

Posted by feww on December 24, 2013


Deadly storms cripple transport, cut power to hundreds of thousands of homes in UK and France

At least three people have been killed in storm-related incidents as storms with winds of up to 100mph continued to batter the UK, crippling the transport network and cutting power to at least 100,000 homes in southern England.

The UK’s Environment Agency has issued hundreds of flood warnings across England and Wales with the highest warning level, “danger to life,” for the South West, where flooding is forecast to inundate large areas.

The chaos began just as millions of Britons were planning to return home or travel out of the country for Christmas holidays.

In the Southern England the impact of the storm system “has been greater than that of St Jude’s a few weeks ago and the railway has suffered flooding and dozens of trees have fallen on the tracks,” said the operator, Network Rail.

“A man in England and a woman in Wales died when heavy rain and strong winds lashed the UK on Monday. A woman has also died in a car crash in ‘difficult conditions’ in Shropshire,” reported BBC.

“Gusts of 87mph were recorded at Capel Curig in Conwy, North Wales, and disruption has been caused across Wales.”

“Northern Ireland will face some of the worst weather in the UK on Christmas Eve, with warnings of winds of up to 90mph.”

UK High Streets have reported a 6% fall in shopper numbers compared with last year, said the report.

IR Satellite Image of Northern Europe at 08:00UTC on December 24, 2013. Copyright EUMETSAT/UK Met Office.

Wind Warning by the UK Met Office:

A spell of very strong winds will affect Northern Ireland through Tuesday morning. Gusts of 60-70 mph are expected inland with 80 mph gusts possible along the North coast and over high ground. Along with the winds there will be sleet and snow showers these mainly affecting County Derry and County Antrim.

The public should be prepared for disruption, particularly to travel, and interruptions to power supplies.

France: 240,000 homes without power

High winds and torrential rains battering France have severely damaged the country’s power grid, leaving at least 240,000 homes without electricity,  said Électricité Réseau Distribution France (ERDF), the country’s largest electricity distribution network on Tuesday.

At least one person has died in storm-related incidents so far.

“Brittany and Normandy were among the regions worst hit by winds reaching speeds of 130 km an hour (80 mph) on Monday and which have so far caused one death. The storms began abating on Tuesday morning,” reported Reuters.

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