LONDON (AP) – Northern Europe was battered by the third major storm in five days, with heavy rains and high winds on Sunday and yesterday, killing at least two more people, disrupting travel and prompting hundreds of flood alerts across a region still recovering from last week’s hurricane-force winds.
Storm Franklin pushed in from the North Atlantic on Sunday afternoon even as crews worked to clear fallen trees and restore power to thousands of customers hit by storms Dudley and Eunice last week.
Heavy rains and high winds swept across Northern Ireland and northern England before moving on to France. England’s environment agency issued more than 300 flood warnings and alerts and train operators urged people not to travel.
In France, a couple in their 70s died on Sunday after their car was swept into the English Channel near a small town in Normandy. The couple had called for help but it did not reach them in time.
“With the wind, the car skidded,” Mayor of Bricqueville-Sur-Mer Herve Bougon told the Ouest-France newspaper. “It was pushed onto its side as it sank into the water.”
At least 14 people have died across Europe during a week of wild weather that meteorologists said is being fuelled by an unusually strong jet stream over the North Atlantic. The storms have left hundreds of thousands of people without power and triggered local flooding and evacuations as high winds ripped the roofs off buildings.
Gusts of up to 87 miles per hour (mph) were recorded late on Sunday on the Isle of Wight after the United Kingdom’s (UK) weather service warned that Storm Franklin would produce widespread winds of 60 mph to 70 mph. A gust of 122 mph, provisionally the highest ever recorded in England, was measured on Friday on the Isle of Wight as Storm Eunice hit the region. Hurricane-level winds start at 74 mph.
In Germany, the latest storm was less severe than its immediate predecessors, but it still brought down trees and ripped the roof off a house in Herdecke, near Dortmund. Two drivers drove into a fallen tree in Belm, in northern Germany, and were taken to the hospital.