Storm triggers flooding, power cuts in northern Europe

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Deadly Storm Babet unleashed extensive flooding and damaged towns in Denmark and Norway into Saturday, while continuing to sweep across the UK.

Three people died in Scotland and England and families were trapped in flooded homes on Friday as the storm battered Britain and Ireland.

A woman also died in northern Germany on Friday evening after a falling tree landed on her car, the fire department said.

As the storm made landfall in Scandinavia, it triggered a sharp rise in water levels in towns in southern Denmark, flooding the first floor of homes which were left without power for several hours.

Water levels in several Danish towns exceeded their normal height by more than two metres (seven feet), levels normally only reached once every hundred years, according to Denmark’s DMI weather service.

“We are having to clear large quantities of water from the towns, especially in southern Jutland,” Martin Vendelbo of the Danish Emergency Management Agency told the Ritzau news agency.

Fishing boats were left stranded or about to sink in the port town of Rodvig, according to photos from Danish media.

In southern Norway, up to 20,000 residents were without power early Saturday after strong winds blew roofs off buildings and downed trees and power masts, but the Norwegian news agency NTB said the situation was improving.

– ‘Danger to life’ –

The storm continued to wreak havoc in the UK, with London’s King’s Cross station forced to close on Saturday afternoon to prevent passengers massing on platforms after the cancellation or delay of numerous trains.

Water levels in a number of Danish towns exceeded their normal height by more than two metres.

Network Rail said on X, formerly Twitter, that London North Eastern Railway (LNER), which runs services between London and the north-east of England and Scotland, was still severely disrupted due to the storm.

Leeds Bradford airport in northern England, which was closed on Friday after a passenger plane skidded off the runway in strong winds, reopened late Saturday morning.

The UK’s Environment Agency has issued three severe flood warnings posing “a danger to life” in the area around the River Derwent in the city of Derby, central England.

Flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, Katharine Smith, said “ongoing flooding is probable on some larger rivers including the Severn, Ouse and Trent through to Tuesday.”

Interviewed on BBC One on Saturday morning, Labour MP Toby Perkins said that around 400 homes in his constituency of Chesterfield in central England had been flooded, and that many people now had “no idea where they’re going to be living from now”.

Scotland was left reeling after two people died in the county of Angus, with First Minister Humza Yousaf warning on X for people to exercise caution in light of a red severe weather warning in the coastal county and parts of Aberdeenshire.

Germany’s Baltic Sea coast was also battered by strong winds and rain which triggered flooding and the evacuation of around 2,000 people, according to the emergency services in the state of Schleswig-Holstein.

The highest water levels were recorded around midnight on Friday in the northern town of Flensburg, reaching almost 2.3 metres above normal — a level unseen for almost 120 years.

The situation appeared to be improving throughout Saturday.

Reference Provided by AFP

 

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