Flash flooding, people rescued and trains cancelled as third storm in a week hits UK

A number of people have been rescued from stranded cars, at least one river has burst its banks and train operators are continuing to advise commuters not to travel as Storm Franklin causes havoc across the UK.

Firefighters in North Yorkshire saved a number of drivers stuck in their vehicles on the A61 at Harewood Bridge after flash flooding across the region left roads impassable.

In Sprotbrough, South Yorkshire, the River Don burst its banks on Sunday evening – with police saying that many of the area’s footpaths were under water.

The River Severn also caused concern, threatening to burst its banks with water creeping towards homes in Shropshire, where flood barriers were erected.

Live updates as Storm Franklin strikes UK

West Midlands Fire Service shared this picture of a tree that had fallen on a car in Sutton Coldfield
West Midlands Fire Service shared this picture of a tree that had fallen on a car in Sutton Coldfield

Residents living close to the River Mersey in Didsbury, Greater Manchester, were told to take immediate action and prepare their properties for flooding.

Many had been told to leave their homes but the leader Manchester City Council has since announced evacuation operations have been stood down.

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A wave crashes over Newhaven lighthouse at West Quay in East Sussex. Feb 20
Extreme waves hit coastal areas, such as Newhaven lighthouse at West Quay in East Sussex

Also in the North West, the M60 in Greater Manchester was closed between junctions 10 and 11 after a lorry overturned and landed on the central reservation.

The M6 was subject to delays as well after the stretch between junction 27 and 28 in Lancashire was closed after high winds caused a lorry to hit a bridge and burst into flames.

Police said the driver managed to escape the cab with help of the other drivers and has been taken to hospital.

Handout photo issued by Lancs Road Police of a lorry fire on the M6 in Lancashire, between junctions 27 and 28, which started when high winds caused the HGV to hit a bridge. Issue date: Monday February 21, 2022.
A lorry burst into flames on the M6 in Lancashire after high winds caused it to hit a bridge

Thousands of properties without power

Meanwhile, some 12,100 properties across England are still without power, according to UK Power Networks.

The numbers include 1,000 in Essex; 1,300 in Suffolk, 370 in Norfolk, 3,000 in East Sussex, 4,500 in Kent and 1,500 in West Sussex.

It comes after Friday’s record power cut, which saw 1.4 million properties lose supply over a 24-hour period.

Ross Easton, director of external affairs at the Energy Networks Association, said: “We’re still making pretty good progress in terms of reconnections, but it’s certainly being hampered by the high winds.”

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Storm Franklin is the UK’s third storm in a week

Flood and wind warnings

As of 8.30am, there were two severe flood warnings in place in England, meaning flooding could bring danger to life; 183 flood warnings, meaning flooding is expected; and 172 flood alerts, meaning flooding is possible.

Scotland was covered by four flood warnings and three flood alerts, while Wales was covered by just one flood alert.

A yellow wind warning, that covers England, Wales, and southwestern Scotland, is in place until 1pm, while an amber warning for Northern Ireland expired at 7am.

Met Office meteorologist Alex Deakin said the UK’s three storms in the space of seven days is “unprecedented”.

Speaking to Kay Burley, he said: “We have never had three in a week, last Monday we named two in the same day – we have never done that before either.”

He added that getting three storms back-to-back is “likely to increase problems” but he said the weather should start “calming down after today”.

Train operators warn passengers not to travel

A number of train operators, including South Western Railway and Southeastern Railway, warned passengers not to travel on Monday.

Others announced cancellations to early services, speed restrictions, and said that alternative transport could not be provided for passengers if routes were forced to close due to the weather.

Rotherham Central rail station in South Yorkshire was flooded so badly that its operators said it would be closed until at least Tuesday.

Across the North West, all Northern rail services have been cancelled due to the severe weather and numerous incidents.

The train operator told people not to head to stations as there are no alternatives.

In London, the overground was suspended between Stratford and Richmond, Stratford and Clapham Junction, Romford and Upminster, and Sydenham and West Croydon due to damage caused by the severe weather.

In the South East, the A282 southbound along the Dartford Crossing has been closed after winds of up to 70mph were recorded.

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