More disruption as UK battered by gales

Friday 06th Jan 2012 by theWeather Club

Image: Walter Hall

Strong winds returned to cause more disruption across large parts of the UK which were battered by a second wave of gales inside 48 hours. The strong winds with gusts over 100mph caused serious road and rail disruption, more injuries and millions of pounds in damage as trees toppled, vehicles were overturned and roof tiles removed.

The gales caused a tree to fall on a car outside a primary school in the Hertfordshire village of Shenley, leaving a woman and a 10-year-old boy needing hospital treatment. Both suffered minor injuries, ambulance staff said.

Thousands of homes and businesses were left without power across parts of the Midlands and Scotland. Around 16,000 properties in the Midlands were left without electricity for some of Thursday, with a similar number in Scotland still lacking power as the weather hampered efforts to repair damage caused by storms on Tuesday.

The strongest gust recorded by the Met Office overnight into Thursday was 112mph at Great Dun Fell in Cumbria. High Bradfield, near Sheffield had a gust of 93mph, with 87mph recorded in Capel Curig in Conwy, north Wales. While the strongest winds were been in the north of England, gusts reached more than 65mph in parts of Lincolnshire and Kent.

The Humber Bridge and the M62 over the Ouse Bridge, near Howden, were both closed to high sided vehicles. A lorry driver was taken to hospital when his heavy goods vehicle overturned on the A1 near Leeming. There were long delays at the Dartford crossing between Kent and Essex, with all traffic having to use tunnels following the closure of the adjacent QE2 bridge.

Fallen trees caused delays and cancellations to numerous rail services, including trains to and from Scotland passing through Cumbria, the busy commuter route from Buckinghamshire to London, and several routes in the West. Two passengers suffered slight injuries when a Scotrail train from Inverness to Edinburgh hit a tree near Dunkeld. In Cambridgeshire, two passengers were slightly hurt when a falling cable smashed windows on a train from Ely to Littleport. A number of train services in Scotland remained cancelled or replaced by buses after Tuesday's storm, including around Glasgow, Edinburgh and the west Highlands.

The strong winds were combined with heavy rainfall moving across the country. There were reports of 25.4mm of rain falling in Okehampton, Devon and similar amounts in parts of Wales causing localised flooding that added to the disruption due to strong winds.

The storm that hit the UK on Tuesday, which was even more severe, left two people dead and the port of Dover closed for some hours. The weather caused delays on a number of roads, with high bridges shut and police reporting a number of lorries toppled on to their sides. The weather has certainly made its mark on the start of 2012.