Skip to main content

No letup in bad weather for wet and windy Britain

By Marie-Louise Gumuchian, CNN
updated 3:00 PM EST, Mon February 10, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: PM Cameron to hold emergency meeting on flood crisis Sunday
  • A young boy dies and others are hospitalized in a flood-hit area
  • England suffered the wettest January in 248 years
  • Forecasters warn of more bad weather to come

London (CNN) -- Villages cut off by floodwater, rail links severed and huge waves pounding coastlines.

Powerful gales and torrential downpours battered southern Britain over the weekend in a fresh surge of extreme weather that has caused chaos across the country.

And there is no letup yet.

Britons face more misery, as forecasters are warning there will be little respite from hurricane-force winds and lashing rain that have seen hundreds of people forced from their homes.

Britain has been hit by bad weather since early December, and swaths of southwestern England have been flooded in continuously stormy weather.

"We have another Atlantic storm bringing gales and heavy downpours to many parts of the UK this weekend," Paul Gundersen, Met Office chief meteorologist, said in a written statement.

"Monday is expected to bring a brief respite from the stormy conditions before more strong winds and rain set in from the west on Tuesday. This will bring the continuing risk of flooding and damaging winds bringing down trees to cause disruption to travel and power networks."

Wettest January in 248 years

A car dealership's display model sits on a ramp above floodwaters in Datchet, England, on Monday, February 10. Britain has been hit by bad weather since early December, and swaths of southwestern England have been flooded in continuously stormy weather. A car dealership's display model sits on a ramp above floodwaters in Datchet, England, on Monday, February 10. Britain has been hit by bad weather since early December, and swaths of southwestern England have been flooded in continuously stormy weather.
Flooding crisis in Great Britain
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
>
>>
Flooding crisis in Great Britain Flooding crisis in Great Britain

England suffered the wettest January since 1766, and there are hundreds of flood alerts in force for low-lying areas in southern and central England and Wales.

Gusts of up to 80 miles per hour, heavy rain and massive waves make up the latest extreme weather coming from the Atlantic Ocean and driven, meteorologists say, by a long and powerful polar vortex.

Hundreds of people have already been forced out of their homes. And with the ground heavily saturated, any more rain will increase the flood risk across the country.

In Chertsey, Surrey, where the River Thames burst its banks, a 7-year-old boy died and 17 people were hospitalized after falling ill, police said Saturday.

Police said the cause of illness was unknown but "cannot rule out that there may be a link to flooding in the local area."

Efforts were under way to build flood defenses in the area, where nearby homes were damaged and riverside benches and trees were submerged in the water.

Soldiers and sandbags

Prime Minister David Cameron is promising government help for regions that have literally been under water for weeks now.

He visited flood-hit Somerset on Friday and will chair a meeting of the government's emergency committee, known as Cobra, on Sunday to discuss the crisis.

"All Govt depts doing all they can to help those affected," Cameron tweeted last week following a similar meeting.

Storm waves have been beating rocks and spraying mist onto coastlines in seaside towns, where many shops have been closed.

Military personnel have been sent out to some areas to deploy sandbags and improve flood defenses.

On top of flooding, the weather has caused some areas to be cut off from power as well as rail links.

In one area, Dawlish, high tides and stormy seas destroyed a sea wall, causing a significant stretch of railway to collapse into the sea. Nearby homes and a road were also damaged.

READ: Battered Britain awaits more bad weather

READ: Record rainfall leaves parts of England under water

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 11:50 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Experts believe that ISIS may be using a Spanish enclave to bring jihad to Europe.
updated 9:00 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
With an efficient subway, inexpensive taxis and a good public bus system, Hong Kong is normally an easy city to navigate ...
updated 7:32 PM EDT, Sun September 28, 2014
CNN's Ivan Watson was in the middle of a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong when things got out of hand.
updated 4:12 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
The world's animal population has halved in 40 years as humans put unsustainable demands on Earth, a new report warns.
updated 8:49 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Every day, refugees and migrants risk their lives as they seek a new life. Now, a new report puts a figure to the number of victims.
updated 10:42 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Mainstream commentators must promote positive role models to Muslims feeling victimized, writes Ghaffar Hussain.
updated 2:13 AM EDT, Mon September 29, 2014
Two men familiar with inside knowledge of ISIS speak with CNN's Arwa Damon.
Explore CNN's interactive that explains ISIS' roots, what it controls, and where its support comes from.
updated 4:10 PM EDT, Thu September 25, 2014
In his first-ever interview as the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani defended his country against allegations of funding terrorism.
updated 11:03 AM EDT, Sat September 27, 2014
The North Korean leader hasn't been seen for weeks, leading to speculation that he is in poor health.
updated 9:54 PM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Haider al-Abadi hopes airstrikes don't lead to "of another terrorist element" instead of ISIS.
updated 9:19 AM EDT, Thu September 25, 2014
The United States couldn't do it on its first try. Neither could the Soviets.
updated 11:29 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
CNN's Nima Elbagir reflects on a harrowing trip to Liberia where she covered the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.
updated 10:23 AM EDT, Fri September 26, 2014
Contrary to public opinion, rats can actually save lives -- Apopo's rats have actually saved thousands.
updated 8:55 AM EDT, Wed October 1, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT