Life Journal

Friday, 19th of January 2007 – Storm

Friday, 19th of January 2007 – Storm

Friday, 19th of January 2007


Worst storm in 17 years!  We got lucky as we were staying at Jeff’s, but our car was wobbling with all the wind gusting around us!

Source: Guardian Unlimited

At least 42 people across Europe are thought to have been killed by yesterday’s storms, which brought hurricane force winds to a number of countries.

Britain suffered the highest toll, with the number of deaths rising to 14, as the worst storm in 17 years resulted in destruction and transport chaos in much of the country.

The most recent victims of the extreme weather include a man killed by a garage canopy falling on him as he refuelled his car in Bamber Bridge, near Preston.

In Meldreth, Cambridgeshire, a 78-year-old woman died after suffering a heart attack and head injuries when she was apparently blown over by the wind, police said.

“We can’t be sure exactly what the circumstances of the woman’s death were,” a spokeswoman said. “It was reported to us that she had been blown over by the wind.”

A two-year-old boy died after suffering head injuries when a brick wall fell on him in north London.

The Met Office said the highest recorded wind speeds yesterday were 99mph on the Isle of Wight. Gusts in the north-west of England, where many of the fatalities occurred, reached 92mph.

Forecasters predicted the storms would calm down today, but warned conditions would remain windy, with gusts of up to 40mph and colder temperatures on the way.

Flooding remains a possibility, with the Environment Agency putting 19 areas on flood warning.

Morning commuters faced continuing problems on the transport network, but the Highways Agency said the motorway system was almost back to normal, with all routes open.

Scottish Power said around 30,000 homes in Cheshire and mid and north Wales were still without electricity. More than 300 faults had been identified.

EDF Energy said 19,000 people were without power in East Anglia as a result of damage caused by high winds.

At least 10 people were killed in Germany, where gusts of 122mph were recorded in Bavaria. Six died in Poland as winds reached 126mph.

Another three died in the in the Czech Republic, where winds reached 112mph, six in the Netherlands, two in Belgium and one in France.

Germany’s national railway stopped nearly all train services for the first time in its history. “We’ve never had such a situation in Germany,” the Deutsche Bahn chief, Hartmut Mehdorn, said.

Berlin’s main train station, which opened last May, was shut down after a two-tonne girder fell from the side of the glass facade onto an outdoor staircase.

Most of the 10 German fatalities were motorists, but they also included two firefighters – one hit by a falling tree and the other dying of a heart attack – and an 18-month old child in Munich who was hit by a terrace door that was ripped from its hinges.

The Polish victims included crane operator who was killed when his crane broke in half in the southern city of Katowice.

Salvage experts were today continuing to assess the condition of a stricken British container ship floating in the Channel.

All 26 of the MSC Napoli’s crew were plucked to safety by rescue helicopters yesterday as they abandoned the vessel in 40ft seas and 70mph winds around 40 miles off the Cornish coast.

Brixham coastguards said today that the vessel, carrying nearly 2,400 containers, had been secured by two French salvage tugs, and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency tug Anglian Princess was standing by.

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