LONDON – Hurricane-force winds reaching up to 106 mph and heavy rainstorms battered parts of Britain on Sunday, disrupting train services and stranding drivers in floodwaters.
The Isle of Wight saw Storm Bella’s strongest gusts hit 106 mph, while parts of the south coast of England and north Wales also saw gusts of around 80 mph. Flooding on the tracks caused train cancellations and delays in southern England, and a main train line into London was blocked by a fallen tree.
In Wales, Western Power said the storm caused power cuts for 21,000 homes. Most of the services were restored Sunday but 1,700 homes still had no power supply.
Some 1,000 people had to be evacuated from a flooded caravan park in Northampton on Christmas Day as heavy rain flooded the site.
Weather warnings are in place across most of England and Wales, with the second named storm of the 2020/21 season set to continue battering the UK after days of wintry weather across the Christmas break.
The warnings include two “threat to life” flood notices in Northamptonshire, where hundreds of people were evacuated from a holiday park on Christmas Eve.
A further 88 flood warnings have been issued in England, while there are six in place in Wales and 12 in Scotland.
Across the Channel, nearly all of France was under storm warning Sunday, with winds up to 90 mph registered at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris and heavy rains and gusts lashing the Atlantic coast, according to the national weather service and utility services.
The storms have knocked out electricity for at least 12,000 homes in Brittany, Normandy and other northern French regions.
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