Monday, 28 March 2016

Storm Katie: Winds see flights cancelled and property damaged


  • 28 March 2016
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  • From the sectionEngland
Collapsed scaffolding in WoodleyImage copyrightMaidenhead Fire Station
Image captionCrews from Maidenhead Fire Brigade were called after scaffolding collapsed in Woodley, Reading
Storm Katie has seen gusts of up to 105mph battering England and Wales, with several flights diverted from airports and major bridges shut.
More than 20 Gatwick-bound flights had to be diverted to other airports, while Heathrow has cancelled more than 60.
The Met Office issued an amber warning for winds for London and south-east England, with a yellow alert for the east and south west, and south Wales.
At least 5,000 homes are without power and 23 flood warnings are in place.
The Environment Agency has issued 23 flood warnings and 122 alerts in response to what is said were "rapidly rising" river levels in the wake of the storm.
Media captionStorm Katie has brought wind gusts of up to 105 mph
Collapsed scaffoldingImage copyrightGary cormack
Image captionIn Croydon, winds brought down this scaffolding on top of two cars
Broken crane in Greenwich
Image captionA crane appeared to have been bent over by winds in Greenwich, south east London
The planes diverted from Gatwick had all been due to land after midnight, but were sent to airports including Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands.
A spokeswoman said 26 flights had been cancelled and 23 diverted. Heathrow cancelled 61 flights and diverted another 20.
Some of the flights had made attempts to land at Gatwick.
Twitter user @michelegrant wrote: "Truly thankful to be on the ground in Stansted after terrifying failed attempts to land at Gatwick in #StormKatie."
Another passenger, Simon Quinton, tweeted: "Glad it's a bank holiday. Delayed #Gatwick flight aborted at landing due to weather and now @ East Midlands airport at 2.45am. Urgh."
Trees on powers lines in FernhurstImage copyrightSouthern Electric
Image captionTrees have fallen on power lines calling cuts in Fernhurst, West Sussex
Tree down at Beaulieu Palace HouseImage copyrightchris morley
Image captionChris Morley took this picture of a large tree brought down by the storm at Beaulieu Palace House in Hampshire
Flood on M6Image copyrightCentral Motorway Police Group
Image captionPart of the M6 between junctions 13 and 14 was closed because of flooding
High winds from the storm left power lines damaged and thousands of properties with no electricity. Those disrupted include:
  • homes across Sussex, Surrey and Kent, where UK Power Networks says it is dealing with a high number of faults
  • some 3,800 properties across the south, where about 900 Southern Electric engineers have been "working through the night", according to a spokesman.
  • more than 1,000 homes disconnected across the south west of England
Earlier, BBC weather forecaster Simon King tweeted that gusts of 105mph had been recorded at the Needles off the Isle of Wight.
The Met Office's amber warning for the south east of England said the risk of disruption was highest from Hampshire and the Isle of Wight eastwards to Sussex, Surrey and Kent.
Winds and heavy rain started on Sunday night, with many people finding storm damage to trees, properties and building sites after they woke on Monday.
A crane collapsed at a construction site in Greenwich, south east London, while in Croydon one man found scaffolding from a house extension blown on to nearby cars.
London Fire Brigade says it has dealt with more than 110 incidents caused by the high winds. In Sussex, police say they received about 600 weather-related calls between midnight and 09:30 BST.
Fallen tree in Epsom
Image captionA number of trees were brought down across England, including this one in Epsom, Surrey
Lightning on the Thames
Image captionLondon was hit by stormy weather on Sunday as people gathered to watch the Boat Race
Snow in Buxton, DerbyshireImage copyrightJenny Eldershaw
Image captionBut in Buxton, Derbyshire residents woke to a wintry, rather than rain-lashed, scene
Sports events have also been affected. AFC Wimbledon tweeted that their match against Portsmouth had been postponed.
Highways England said the QE2 Bridge, the southbound crossing over the River Thames at Dartford, had been closed overnight because of the winds, with vehicles being diverted through the tunnel that usually serves northbound traffic.
The M48 Severn Crossing, which connects England and Wales, was closed earlier but has now re-opened, as has the A38 Tamar Bridge in Cornwall.
Cross-Channel and Isle of Wight ferry services are subject to delays and temporary sailing restrictions were put in place at the Port of Dover.
Highways England warned road users across the South West, South East and Eastern regions to check the weather forecast and road conditions before travelling on Monday - particularly if using "vulnerable vehicles" such as motorbikes, caravans and high-sided vehicles.
BBC forecaster Nick Miller
Image captionBBC weather forecaster Nick Miller said southern England was set to bear the brunt of Storm Katie

Are you affected by Storm Katie? Let us know about your experiences. Emailhaveyoursay@bbc.co.uk with your stories.

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