Storms and high winds bring new flooding and destruction in UK

December 27, 2013 | By | Reply More

Dec 27, – Gales and rain have returned to the UK, causing further disruption to transport and the power network. There are around 13,000 homes still without power in the UK after almost 25,000 were reconnected overnight, the Energy Networks Association said.

BRITAIN-WEATHERThe Met Office has issued an amber “be prepared” warning of gusts up to 80mph in north Wales and northern England. More than 50 flood warnings have been issued in England, Wales and Scotland, with rain falling on saturated ground.

Rail services have been disrupted, while road closures have been reported around the UK because of uprooted trees.

The Met Office’s Emma Sharples says conditions have already cleared eastwards through southern England, with concern focused on northern parts of Wales, north-west England and north-east England and moving into the Borders of Scotland.

“We will see gusts of around 80 mph particularly in coastal areas, inland probably gusts of 50 to 60 mph, with some quite squally conditions too as showers pass through,” she said.

‘High winds’

Tony Glover from the Energy Networks Association said the experiences of people without power were “horrendous” but the companies were working “incredibly hard, around the clock” to get them reconnected.

“The flooding is a major issue for us and getting a cherry picker out into a a flooded area is one hell of a challenge with the fact that the weather itself continues, there is debris and roads are blocked,” he said.

One of the thousands without power is Sharon Beresford from Bournemouth, who has been staying in a hotel with her family after their power line was damaged by a tree on Monday night. “It’s been a little bit difficult, not quite what we planned,” she said.

“The hardest thing has been no information from the power companies – we keep ringing, just keep getting automated messages, we hold on for 40 to 50 minutes sometimes with no joy.

“I feel very let down that they left at 14:00 GMT on Christmas Eve, having got the cherry picker there to remove the old cable, I don’t understand why they didn’t just reconnect the new cable – there was nothing to say what they were doing, where they were going and why they weren’t finishing it.”

The Environment Agency said rainfall on Thursday night was less than expected, with about 10mm in the South East. It has had reports of about 1,200 properties flooding so far.

Pete Fox from the Environment Agency said river levels remain high through Somerset, Dorset, Sussex, Surrey and Kent, particularly the River Medway and the Kentish Stour around Ashford.

“Those river levels are going to remain high, last night’s weather will not have helped that. We remain particularly focussed on the Kent Stour and lower reaches of the Thames,” he said.

“Our defences are behaving very well. We’ve got teams out on the ground assessing the impacts that this weather event has had on them – but we are remaining vigilant, we are clearing grids, we are operating barriers and flood storage areas in order to minimise the risk to flooding in those particularly prone areas.”

Prime Minister David Cameron has visited the village of Yalding in Kent, which experienced severe flooding on Christmas Eve, during which one unnamed woman confronted him, saying her local council had done nothing to help villagers.

Mr Cameron said the authorities have “got to learn lessons” and “do more and do better” next time properties are threatened.

Press coordinator for HRO media – Norberto Lluch contributed to this report.

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Category: European Crises

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