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Dublin: 1 °C Monday 21 January, 2019

Storm Katie has been battering Britain this weekend

Luckily, we’ve missed the worst of it here, but France has also been affected by storms.

Spring weather March 28th 2016 Rubble strewn across the road outside The Duchess public house in Battersea, south west London, after Storm Katie's high winds brought down part of the building's roof support. Source: John Stillwell/PA Wire

‘STORM KATIE’ has been battering parts of Britain, leading to cancelled flights and a trail of disruption left in its wake.

It swept across southern England overnight, leaving debris and roadwork barriers strewn across London’s streets.

Winds gusting to 170 kph forced the cancellation of around 150 flights in and out of Britain and left around 2,000 homes without power.

Heathrow reported around 130 cancellations, with other flights delayed or diverted to other airports.

Some 20 flights in and out of London’s Gatwick Airport were cancelled and another four diverted.

The Met Office national weather service for Britain issued an amber warning for winds for London and southeast England, advising people to be “prepared for disruption to outdoor activities and travel”.

The service recorded gusts of 170 kph off the southern England coast, with winds of over 112 kph registered across the south.

A bridge crossing the River Thames in southeast England and the Severn Bridge which connects England and Wales were also closed, according to Highways England.

UK Power Networks said they were dealing with problems across Sussex, Surrey and Kent in southern England, leaving at least 2,000 households without electricity.

“It is particularly southern parts of England bearing the brunt of Storm Katie but also into parts of East Anglia as well, with these potentially damaging and disruptive gusts of wind of 60 to 70 mph — but possibly more in the most exposed areas,” said BBC weather forecaster Nick Miller.

Spring weather March 28th 2016 Scaffolding covers on Portsmouth’s Anglican Cathedral ripped to shreds by Storm Katie Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Power out in France

Tens of thousands of homes were without power in northwestern France early today after the region was pounded overnight by winds gusting to hurricane force.

Seven departments, or counties, in Normandy and Brittany were placed on “orange” alert, the second highest in Meteo-France’s three-stage warning system.

At least 60,000 homes were without power, more than half of them in the French western peninsula of Brittany, electricity grid operator ERDF said.

Firemen across the two regions were called out more than 400 times, mainly to clear roads blocked by fallen trees and debris, emergency services said.

The strongest gusts were recorded on the Breton tourist island of Belle-Ile, of 150 kilometres (93 miles) per hour.

Coastal dwellers in three departments on the Atlantic — Finistere, Morbibhan and Loire-Atlantique — were warned of storm-surge waves.

Weather forecasters in both countries expected the storm to fade by the afternoon.

What about Ireland?

Here in Ireland, Met Éireann says that today we can expect some rain and hail showers, most frequently in the west of the country.

Some will be heavy, with a slight risk of thunder.

Tonight, there will be a mix of clear spells and rain or hail showers, and a sharp frost as temperatures fall to between -1 and +2C.

- © AFP, 2016, with additional reporting by Aoife Barry

Read: Beautiful weather, smiling faces and emotional moments as Ireland remembers 1916>

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