Storm Dennis wreaks havoc across UK, parts of France

18 February, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Storm Dennis wreaks

havoc across UK,

parts of France

An emergency worker inspects damaged cars as a tree fell down after being hit by strong winds in Caen on Sunday, after storm Dennis swept accross northwestern France, leaving around 18.500 houses without electricity. —AFP PHOTO

LONDON: Britain on Monday began to clear up after Storm Dennis battered the country over the weekend, leading the government’s weather agency to issue a rare “danger to life” warning amid widespread flooding and high winds, reports AFP.

Hundreds of flood warnings remained in place, including five “severe” warnings around the River Teme in Worcestershire in western England, after more than a month’s worth of rain fell in 48 hours in some parts of Britain.

A record 594 warnings and alerts had been put in place on Sunday, extending from Scotland’s River Tweed to Cornwall in southwest England, while major incidents were declared in South Wales and parts of western England due to flooding.

The storm also battered much of France, with some 20,000 people still without electricity on Monday after suffering power cuts in the northwest of the country and rail traffic disrupted.

In south Wales, the government’s weather agency issued a rare red warning, saying there was a risk of “significant impacts from flooding” that included a “danger to life from fast flowing water, extensive flooding to property and road closures”.

Pictures circulated on social media showed the nearby River Taff bursting its banks, while rescue workers rushed to reach people trapped in their homes in Powys. Police said a man in his 60s died after entering the River Tawe, north of the Welsh city Swansea, but later clarified that the death was not “linked to the adverse weather”.

Winds of over 90 miles (150 kilometres) per hour were recorded in Aberdaron, south Wales.

In northern England, the government deployed the army to help deal with the situation. Environment Secretary George Eustice, visiting York, said the government had done “everything that we can do with a significant sum of money” to combat increased flooding.

“We’ll never be able to protect every single household just because of the nature of climate change and the fact that these weather events are becoming more extreme,” he added.

Roads and railways across Britain were badly affected by the downpours and winds, having barely recovered from a similar storm last week.

The defence ministry deployed troops in West Yorkshire, northern England, which suffered badly from flooding caused by last weekend’s Storm Ciara.