Wednesday 7 December 2016

Storm Angus causes flooding, 129km/h gusts and chaos for emergency services in England

Sam Blewett, Henry Vaughan and Dave Higgens

Published 20/11/2016 | 08:54

People watch large waves at Newhaven in East Sussex, as Storm Angus hit the UK with gusts anticipated to reach up to 80mph. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
People watch large waves at Newhaven in East Sussex, as Storm Angus hit the UK with gusts anticipated to reach up to 80mph. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
A coast guard helicopter attends the scene where at least five crew members have been evacuated from a cargo ship which got into difficulty in the Channel off the coast of Dover, as Storm Angus hit the UK with gusts anticipated to reach up to 80mph. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Waves crash into a ferry in the Channel off the coast of Dover, as Storm Angus hit the UK with gusts anticipated to reach up to 80mph. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
A coast guard helicopter attends the scene where at least five crew members have been evacuated from a cargo ship which got into difficulty in the Channel off the coast of Dover, as Storm Angus hit the UK with gusts anticipated to reach up to 80mph. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
A coast guard helicopter attends the scene where at least five crew members have been evacuated from a cargo ship which got into difficulty in the Channel off the coast of Dover, as Storm Angus hit the UK with gusts anticipated to reach up to 80mph.Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Waves crash against the harbour wall as Storm Angus passes Newhaven in southern Britain, November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Gail force winds in Eastbourne,East Sussex, as Storm Angus hit the UK with gusts anticipated to reach up to 80mph. Tom Pugh/PA Wire
Waves crash against the harbour wall as Storm Angus passes Newhaven in southern Britain, November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A man watches waves crash against the harbour wall as Storm Angus passes Newhaven in southern Britain, November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Waves crash against the harbour wall as Storm Angus passes Newhaven in southern Britain, November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Waves crash into the wall at Newhaven in East Sussex, as Storm Angus hit the UK with gusts anticipated to reach up to 80mph. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Storm Angus, the first named storm of the season, caused flooding and chaos for emergency services when it hit the UK with gusts anticipated to reach up to 80mph (129km/h).

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Winds on the south coast were recorded at up to 68mph on Sunday morning and a gust battered Guernsey at 84mph.

The storm will push north throughout the morning with the winds expected to peak in south-east England at around 11am.

It is not expected to affect Ireland.

Waves crash against the harbour wall as Storm Angus passes Newhaven in southern Britain, November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Waves crash against the harbour wall as Storm Angus passes Newhaven in southern Britain, November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Winds hindered firefighters' efforts to extinguish a "major fire" in a building on Bognor seafront in West Sussex after they were called at around 3.45am.

A takeaway and a disused nightclub suffered extensive damage and 30 residents were evacuated from neighbouring flats.

Adrian Murphy, of the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said: "This incident has taken place in the midst of a major storm and it was difficult to stand when we arrived on the seafront."

Devon and Cornwall Police declared a "major incident" at 4.15am and evacuated a residential park when rain caused the River Mole to burst its banks.

Gail force winds in Eastbourne,East Sussex, as Storm Angus hit the UK with gusts anticipated to reach up to 80mph. Tom Pugh/PA Wire
Gail force winds in Eastbourne,East Sussex, as Storm Angus hit the UK with gusts anticipated to reach up to 80mph. Tom Pugh/PA Wire

The water flowed through the Mill on the Mole chalet park in South Molton, Devon, and at its peak was 4ft deep, the force said.

Just over an hour after the incident was declared the rain stopped, the flood subsided "very rapidly" and residents were allowed to return home.

Waves crash against the harbour wall as Storm Angus passes Newhaven in southern Britain, November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Waves crash against the harbour wall as Storm Angus passes Newhaven in southern Britain, November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

And scaffolding crushed a car when it was blown from a home in Brighton, East Sussex.

The Met Office issued an amber "be prepared" warning from the Isle of Wight to Kent and advised to prepare for travel disruption, possible power cuts, damage to buildings, flooding and debris from trees.

A yellow "be aware" warning was issued for all parts of the country south of the M4 with gusts of up to 65mph expected in other coastal areas.

The highest recorded rainfall was of more than two inches (54mm) in Exeter, Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said.

A man watches waves crash against the harbour wall as Storm Angus passes Newhaven in southern Britain, November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A man watches waves crash against the harbour wall as Storm Angus passes Newhaven in southern Britain, November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Forecasters predicted the storm will move off quite quickly into the North Sea towards Europe, with conditions set to improve from around midday Sunday.

However, further wind and rain, which is expected to move north across England and Wales on Monday, could bring more flooding.

Northern areas can expect more chilly weather with fairly light winds and clear skies.

Drivers crossing the Pennines were confronted with a covering of snow at high levels but all main routes remained open.

Winter wonderland scenes greeted walkers above 1,000ft (305m) in areas of the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales, with some light snow showers hitting lower ground in West Yorkshire.

Further north, Durham Police tweeted: "A66, Bowes to Cumbria, snow on both carriageways, slow moving but passable with care. Gritters hard at work."

Braemar in Aberdeenshire dropped to -8C (17.6F) on Friday night, with sheltered areas in Scotland set to plummet as low as -10C (14F) overnight Saturday and into Sunday morning.

Anyone experiencing problems with their power network during the storm can contact 105 for further information and advice, or visit powercut105.com.

Cargo crash

A cargo ship with 23 people onboard was being evacuated off the coast of Dover on Sunday after it collided with a stone barge and started to take on water, the Coastguard said, as Storm Angus marked Britain's first named storm of the winter.

Coastguard Duty Commander Steve Carson said: "The weather conditions this morning are particularly challenging and we have declared this a major incident."

"We are now planning to evacuate the crew from the cargo vessel," he said in a statement, adding that two search and rescue helicopters were involved.

Local media reported the name of the ship as the Saga Sky.

Earlier, the port of Dover said ferry movements had been temporarily suspended because of "very high winds", which the Met Office said could reach 70-80 miles per hour in exposed coastal locations.

Press Association

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