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UK storms: South East facing further disruption


UK storms: South East facing further disruptionHigh winds and heavy rain have led to further disruption across the South East after weeks of storms

Homes have been left without power and trains disrupted after high winds and heavy rain hit the South East.

Rail services by Southeastern and Southern were delayed and cancelled after trees fell across their networks.

UK Power Networks said about 11,000 of its customers had faced power cuts across Kent, Surrey and Sussex on Saturday.

Severe flood warnings remained in place on the River Thames, with more defences put up in Chertsey and Staines.

Further flood warnings were in force for rivers across the South East, including the Colne, Dun, Rother, Medway, Beult, Stour and Wey. (more…)

UK storms: Hammond says climate change ‘clearly a factor’


The Somerset Levels have been flooded for weeks and have two severe flood warnings in placeThe Somerset Levels have been flooded for weeks and have two severe flood warnings in place

Climate change is “clearly a factor” in the period of stormy weather the UK has been experiencing, the defence secretary has said.

Philip Hammond told the Andrew Marr Show the storms and flooding had caused “quite serious damage” to the country’s infrastructure.

Earlier, Labour leader Ed Miliband said global climate change was now an issue of national security.

Their comments come as more flooding is expected in many parts of the country.

Despite a let-up in the stormy weather, there are 14 severe flood warnings – indicating a “danger to life” – for south-east England close to the River Thames and two for the Somerset Levels, which have experienced weeks of flooding.

As well as the impact to the transport network, about one million properties had their power cut off in the last week and thousands in southern England and Wales are still without power, according to the Energy Networks Association.

‘Science is clear’

Some Conservative MPs and peers have challenged the argument that the recent storms were connected to global temperature changes. (more…)

UK floods: Army to carry out ‘rapid inspection’ of defences


A further 5,000 troops are available to help flood-stricken communitiesA further 5,000 troops are available to help flood-stricken communities, the defence secretary said

The Army is to carry out a “rapid inspection” of the nation’s flood defences to assess the damage left by unprecedented flooding.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show that the inspection – which would normally take two years – would be done over the next five weeks.

The announcement comes as 15,900 homes remain without power.

And scores of flood warnings and alerts are still in force across the country.

‘Damage’

Forecasters have warned that large swathes of England and Wales are in danger of further flooding despite a let-up in the long spell of stormy weather. (more…)

UK storms: Cameron warns of further flooding


UK storms: Cameron warns of further floodingFlooding is expected to continue in many areas despite the respite from the storms

Much of England and Wales is in danger of further flooding despite a let-up in the long spell of stormy weather, Prime Minister David Cameron has warned.

He said problems were likely to get worse as the volume of rain over recent weeks meant groundwater levels would keep rising in many places.

Scores of flood warnings and alerts are still in force.

The Royal Engineers are set to carry out a “rapid inspection” of flood defences over the next five weeks.

Speaking after a Cobra emergency committee meeting on Saturday evening, Mr Cameron said: “Thankfully, it does appear that we will see less rain and wind over the next few days. (more…)

Wales weather: Flats evacuated as storms strike


Flats evacuated as storms strikeThe storm badly damaged these flats (Apartment building) at Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan which were evacuated after part of the roof was blown off

Seventeen people have been evacuated from flats in the Vale of Glamorgan after the roof was damaged in strong winds overnight.

Fire crews were called to Rowan Court in Barry at 01:00 GMT.

Heavy rain and strong winds hit Wales on Saturday forcing more travel disruption with several roads flooded.

It comes as engineers battled to restore power to thousands of homes without electricity in mid and north Wales.

ScottishPower said it hoped to have customers reconnected by midnight.

Two flood warnings and 19 alerts have been issued by Natural Resources Wales.

As fresh storms move in, the Welsh government said it was waiting to hear if funding would be available from the UK government to help businesses. (more…)

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