Northern Europe battered by 3rd major storm

Source: BBC; ABCNews; EuroNews; Reuters; AFP
Date: 22nd February 2022

Northern Europe has been battered by the third major storm in five days, with heavy rains and high winds disrupting travel and prompting hundreds of flood alerts across a region still recovering from last week’s hurricane-force winds.

Storm Franklin pushed in from the North Atlantic on Sunday afternoon even as crews worked to clear fallen trees and restore power to thousands of customers hit by storms Dudley and Eunice last week. Heavy rains and high winds swept across Northern Ireland and northern England on Monday before moving on to France. England’s environment agency issued more than 300 flood warnings and alerts and train operators urged people not to travel.

The storms have left hundreds of thousands of people without power and triggered local flooding and evacuations as high winds ripped the roofs off buildings. Gusts of up to 87 mph (140 kph) were recorded late Sunday on the Isle of Wight. A gust of 122 mph (196 kph), provisionally the highest ever recorded in England, was measured Friday on the Isle of Wight as Storm Eunice hit the region. Hurricane-level winds start at 74 mph.

Official weather warnings in Germany, where the latest storm is known as Antonia, were lifted on Monday, though disruption to transport continued in northern parts of the country.

Experts said the weather toll for the week has been extensive for the environment as well. The German Aerospace Center, DLR, says the current storms hitting northern Europe would likely result in widespread damage to already weakened forests.

“The current storm situation across Germany will probably again lead to the need to remove damaged trees in many areas,” it said.

Deaths were reported in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, the Irish Republic and the UK, as fierce winds felled trees and sent debris flying.

Millions of homes and businesses lost power across Europe and transport networks were left in disarray.

The Dutch coastguard said it was trying to locate 26 empty shipping containers lost in the North Sea.

The 40ft (12m) shipping containers were lost from the Panama-registered Marcos V around the Wadden Islands, en route to Germany.

The Dutch coastguard said it was using helicopters and a emergency towing vessel in the search, while ships in the area had also been asked to keep a look out.

Elsewhere in the Netherlands parts of the roof of the stadium of football team ADO Den Haag was ripped off in the Hague and high speed trains to Belgium, France and the UK were cancelled.

In Germany rail operator Deutsche Bahn said “more than 1,000km” (620 miles) of track had suffered damage.

Poland still had one million customers with electricity cut off on Saturday afternoon, AFP reported, after the country’s north-west took a battering.

Ferries across the Channel, the world’s busiest shipping lane, were suspended, before the English port of Dover reopened on Friday afternoon. Hundreds of flights were cancelled at airports including Heathrow and Schiphol.

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