• Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Storm Gerrit: Storm Gerrit disrupts trains and leaves thousands without power as it batters northern UK


LONDON: A storm that battered the UK with high winds and heavy snow and rain damaged houses, canceled trains and left thousands of people without electricity on Thursday across Scotland and parts of northern England.
Workers faced wind speeds of 80 miles (128 kilometers) per hour in some coastal areas of Scotland as they tried to restore power that was cut off when falling branches and other debris hit utility lines.
About 14,000 homes remained without power on Thursday morning.
Police in Manchester in northwest England said they received numerous reports late Wednesday of homes damaged by a brief “localized tornado.” Photos showed roofs torn from houses and cars smashed by fallen trees, and residents reported garden sheds being blown away.
The UK’s weather forecaster, the Met Office, said a “supercell thunderstorm” with a “strong rotating updraft” crossed the Greater Manchester area late Wednesday.
Local officials said some 100 properties were evacuated overnight. Greater Manchester Police declared a major incident due to the severity of the damage and potential risk to public safety, though no injuries were reported.
Storm Gerrit also caused widespread disruption to train service across Scotland, where travel on some lines was suspended until officials could carry out a full inspection of the network. A falling tree hit the driver’s cabin on one train, but no one was injured.
Snow also blocked some roads in Scotland.
Heathrow Airport, the UK’s main travel hub, canceled 18 flights on Wednesday because of air traffic control restrictions on domestic routes. Flights to European cities like Barcelona and Berlin were also affected.


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