Storms disrupt roads and railways as death toll reaches four

Storms disrupt roads and railways as death toll reaches four

A woman rides her bicycle through flood water in Sandwich, Kent, Southeast England, on December 6, 2013

Roads and railways were disrupted across England and Wales on Tuesday as the death toll from the pre-Christmas storms swelled to four people.

Many major routes were flooded or blocked by fallen trees, with Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and Cornwall among the affected counties, reports said.

Power supplies were cut to around 100,000 homes across England as the worst of the storms headed for Scotland and Northern Ireland

In London, police closed the A20 between Green Lane and Frognal corner due to “severe flooding”.

“Motorists are advised to take alternative routes as the road will be closed for sometime,” Metropolitan Police said.

In Dorset, fire crews rescued 25 people trapped in their cars by flood water in the wake of strong winds and torrential rain.

The Environment Agency has 276 flood alerts and 162 more severe flood warnings in place, almost 120 of which are in south west and south east England.

The Highways Agency has warned of dozens of road closures and localised flooding.

Gatwick Airport was expecting disruption, with some flights likely to be diverted to other airports, and London’s Heathrow Airport also warned of problems and urged passengers to check flight details.

The Department for Transport said around 49,000 homes were left without power on Monday, though at least 15,000 of those have now been reconnected.

Southern Electric said as many as 27,000 customers were left without electricity in southern England, the BBC reported, with 13,000 in and around Aldershot.

A woman was killed in a car accident in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, on Monday night, taking this week’s death toll to four.

Earlier on Monday, a man’s body was pulled from the River Rothesay in Ambleside in Cumbria, while a woman died in a river in Gwynedd, North Wales.

A man died in a multiple-collision crash near Bodmin in Cornwall on Sunday night.

The fulcrum of the low pressure is predicted to move away northwards during Christmas Day, while severe gales across the far north will slowly ease.

But gales are likely to return on Boxing Day, peaking during Friday, forecasters say.



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