Storm Bella hits Europe, leaving tens of thousands without power

Storm Bella hits Europe, leaving tens of thousands without power

Storm Bella struck parts of Northwestern Europe on Sunday, December 27, 2020, leaving more than 55 000 households without electricity in its wake. More than 21 000 homes lost access to power in the UK, around 34 000 in the east and central France, and around 1 500 in Ireland.

In parts of the UK, the storm brought heavy rain, high winds, and gusts of more than 160 km/h (100 mph). In the Needles on the Isle of Wight, gusts reached 170 km/h (106 mph).

In southern England, train operators, including South Western Railway, reported delays as heavy rain "flooded the railway" between Bournemouth and Southampton.

Sporting events were also affected, with the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow called off due to a waterlogged course. Heavy rains already triggered flooding in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire over the holidays.

Up to 1 300 families by the River Great Ouse were advised to evacuate following high water levels. Elsewhere, in Gloucestershire, more than 70 homes were left without power on Christmas after an electricity substation flooded.

In England, more than a hundred "immediate action" flood warnings were in force after winds of more than 113 km/h (70 mph) hit southern coasts overnight. 

In North Yorkshire, fire crews rescued several people from stranded vehicles. In Wales, Western Power reported power cuts for 21 000 homes. Much of the services were restored by Sunday, but 1 700 homes remained without power.

The Environment Agency asked residents to stay away from swollen rivers and flooded land. 

In Ireland, the storm was particularly destructive in Dublin, leaving 1 134 homes without power in Greenhills and South Dublin, and another 245 homes in nearby Inchicore. 104 homes were affected in Ennis, County Clare, and 112 in Cappamore, County Limerick.

In northwest Spain, Bella brought winds of up to 125 km/h (78 mph) and waves up to 10 m (33 feet). A building in Aviles collapsed, damaging several vehicles parked in the area. No injuries were reported

Train services were also canceled due to damages to tracks and fallen debris, while traffic poles and trees were also downed. A red alert for high waves and strong winds remains for the coastal areas on Monday, December 28.

In France, some 12 000 households suffered power cuts in Brittany and Normandy, while 6 000 homes were affected in the Calais region.

More than a third of flights from France's main airport in northern Paris encountered delays due to the storm. 

While heavy rains and winds abated in some areas by late afternoon Sunday, heavy snow is forecast on higher ground and southern France on Monday. 

Featured image credit: In Ireland/YouTube


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