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Dublin: 11°C Monday 20 September 2021

Three killed as storm sweeps across Europe

People are fearful this evening as it reaches high tide in many areas.

Brighton, England
Brighton, England
Image: Press Association

HURRICANE GUSTS hit Britain today as part of a powerful storm moving across Europe, disrupting air travel, halting trains and leaving tens of thousands of homes without electricity.

Accidents linked to the storm have killed three people.

Authorities evacuated some 10,000 homes along the eastern English coast after warning that the country could face its worst tidal surge in 60 years. The Thames Barrier — a series of huge metal plates that can be raised across the entire river — was being closed late today to protect London from the surge.


Tidal floods — caused as the storm drives huge amounts of seawater toward the land — were expected in Britain, Germany and Scandinavia, together with freezing high winds from Greenland.

The storm plowed into Scotland overnight, slamming the highlands with gusts up to 142 miles per hour. Trains were suspended for much of the day, but began to run fitfully later as some routes were cleared of debris.

Rescue teams ferried residents to safety by boat in north Wales, while officials in other areas handed out sandbags and set up emergency shelters.

Transportation troubles were reported throughout northwestern Europe. All flights to and from Copenhagen’s international airport were halted late Thursday due to the storm, officials said.

Almost all flights to and from Hamburg airport in northern Germany were also cancelled and Dutch carrier KLM cancelled dozens of flights to European airports.

Airplanes in the UK had to abort many of their landings today, with footage of the attempted landings being shared on YouTube:

(YouTube/Rachel Myers)

Passengers on an easyJet flight from London to Glasgow, Scotland, wound up landing in Manchester after aborted attempts to land in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.


As the plane neared Scotland, “suddenly everything started shaking and bumping, we were going up and down, up and down,” said passenger Hazel Bedford.

“An awful lot of people were being sick but the plane, it was incredibly quiet. When cabin crew said ‘We’re going to Manchester,’ people started to realize this was serious,” she said.

imageHigh winds and sea batter the North Antrim coast at Portstewart, in Co Antrim. (PA Image)

The German Weather Service said the storm front, which was gathering strength as it headed eastward from the Atlantic Ocean off Greenland, would also bring polar air and some snow to Europe.

An accident west of Edinburgh claimed the life a truck driver and a falling tree killed a man in Nottinghamshire.

Police in western Denmark said a 72-year-old woman died when the van she was in was knocked over in the storm.

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Ferry operators cancelled services to some of Germany’s North Sea islands and the country’s national railway, Deutsche Bahn, warned of likely disruptions across northern Germany.

German authorities reported flooding on the tiny low-lying North Sea islands of Langeness and Hooge near Denmark, the DPA news agency reported.

Residents protected their homes with sandbags against the rising waters but Langeness mayor Heike Hinrichsen warned if the seas rose as high as predicted, the “waves of the North Sea will be lapping at the houses”.

“Nobody on the islands will be closing their eyes tonight,” said Langeness resident Fiede Nissen. “It’s already tense.”

imageBlackpool Main Promenade under flood water following high tide and a tidal surge as severe gale force winds hit many parts of the UK. (PA Image)

The Netherlands closed water barriers to protect the low-lying country from high tides, including the Oosterscheldekering barrier in the southwestern delta region, which was closed for the first time since 2007.

Water authorities in the northern Dutch province of Friesland were patrolling dikes to make sure any breeches or damages from the high tides were quickly repaired. The dikes were built to withstand water levels 5 meters above normal.

Today’s tide was predicted to be around 10 feet higher than normal, the authority said.

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