Stormy weather across England causes damage

Emergency crews are clearing up damage ranging from roofs being blown off to fallen trees after strong winds battered parts of England.

The high street of Slough, Berkshire, remains closed after a large section of a roof was blown off a block of flats.

Meanwhile, scaffolding from a 10-storey block in Orpington, London, collapsed overnight due to gusts.

Elsewhere, brick walls have collapsed, trees have blocked roads and rising rivers have led to flood warnings.

The 48-hour period began with Storm Brendan hammering Ireland on Monday, causing thousands of homes to lose power, before bringing winds in excess of 80mph (128 km/h) to parts of Scotland and England.

What else has the weather affected?

  • Airlines were forced to divert flights scheduled to land at Gatwick Airport on Monday evening while ferries and railways faced disruption.
  • A railway line was closed between Horsham and Dorking following a landslip.
  • Several cars were stuck and two people were rescued in Hampshire.
  • High winds across Norfolk led to 45 trees coming down but police said the majority caused no problems and were cleared.

A second low-pressure front brought further strong gales to much of England on Tuesday, causing the roof of an apartment block to crash into Slough High Street.

Emergency services remained on the scene overnight, and Slough Borough Council said it could not confirm when the road would be reopened, but it was unlikely to be on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman said after discussions with the Health and Safety Executive, the authority had agreed to lead an investigation into the roof fall.

She said it was hoped the council could start “dismantling and clearing debris” on Wednesday afternoon.

Thames Valley Police said it did not believe anyone had been seriously injured.

Taxi driver Haris Baig, 30, from Slough, narrowly missed being hit by the roof and said it was “a miracle no-one was killed”.

At Starr Gate in Blackpool a driver escaped without injury after a car got stuck on a beach and was swamped by the rising tide.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the driver abandoned the vehicle before coastguards from Lytham St Annes and Fleetwood arrived, but the tide was already too high for the vehicle to be retrieved.

It was removed from the sand by a tractor after high tide, a spokesman said.

In Southampton, port operator DP World urged trucks travelling with no booking to stay away due to a backlog of hundreds of lorries going through the port.

Drivers were warned to expect severe delays as trucks queued for Dock Gate 20 following the suspension of crane and shipside operations overnight.

Rob Freeman of port operator DP World said: “It’s freakish situation caused by the weather.”

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has been called to three incidents of vehicles trapped in floodwater.

In one incident in Bransgore, in the New Forest, crews rescued five people and a dog after three vehicles were stranded.

A rescue team waded on to Derritt Lane with a dinghy to come to the aid of the group.

Some 25 flood warnings and 165 flood alerts were issued by the Environment Agency on Tuesday, as coastal areas struggled with strong gusts, high tides and large waves.

Rail passengers faced delays and temporary speed limits due to the heavy winds and fallen trees, while drivers were advised to take extra care on the roads

The Met Office warned of more unsettled weather ahead on Thursday, particularly during the second half of the day.

A gust of 78mph (125km/h) was recorded on the Isle of Wight on Tuesday, according to the Met Office.


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