A high-velocity storm from the Atlantic that crossed the southwestern coast of England in the early hours of Monday killed two persons and left widespread damage and dislocation in its wake.
Rain and blustery winds, reaching up to 80 mph (129 kmph approx.), swept across a swathe of southern England and Wales in the morning, snapping power lines, uprooting trees, disrupting rail and road services, and forcing flight cancellations. By late morning, the storm had moved into the North Sea and from there into Europe.
Named after St. Jude, the patron saint for lost causes whose feast day falls on October 28, the storm is considered one of the worst to hit the island nation since the 1987 ‘Great Storm’ that killed 18 people and uprooted 15 million trees.
Heathrow cancelled 130 of the 1,300 flights that it handles every day. Air India, however, operated all its flights into and out of London on schedule.
The met office had issued warnings asking people to stay away from seafronts, particularly on the South Coast, where the winds were expected to be strongest.
According to U.K. Energy Networks, 250,000 homes went without power because of damage to lines from winds and falling trees. Many train services reported delays and cancellations as trees that had fallen on the tracks had to be cleared.
Media outlets streamed photographs and videos of the storm’s impact that viewers sent in of the damages.
In London, the worst of the storm had eased by mid-morning, with occasional gusty winds. Undeterred by the threat of bad weather, regular dog-walkers and joggers to Kensington Park were taken aback by its locked gates. The more determined climbed over the gates with their pets.