Dangerous storm kills 2 in Britain, 2 in the Netherlands, 1 in France

Oct. 28, 2013 at 10:17 AM
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LONDON, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- A treacherous storm packing wind gusts as high as 90 mph was responsible for the deaths of five people in Britain, Netherlands and France, officials said.

A wave swept away a woman on the French island of Belle-Ile Monday following a night of storm activity that disrupted power to about 75,000 homes across the northern and western France, Radio France Internationale reported.

Dutch officials said two people in Amsterdam were killed by trees toppled by gale-force winds, DutchNews.nl reported.

In Britain, officials said a teenager in Kent and a man in Watford were killed by trees felled by the storm that battered parts of the country before clearing out, the BBC said.

While fallen trees and downed power polls blocked roads in Normandy, officials said France escaped the storm's wrath that bore down on Britain and elsewhere, RFI said. Wind gusts reached 86 mph along the coast of Brittany.

About 220,000 homes were without power in Britain and rail service for much of the south was canceled because of downed trees.

Train service in and out of Amsterdam was disrupted because of storm damage and the city's tram services also were closed, officials said.

Dutch Rail said it was running on abbreviated schedules,

RTL News reported a ferry from Newcastle with 1,080 people on board couldn't dock safely in IJmuiden because of strong winds. The ship was in open water to wait for the wind to die down.

Some ferry trips to the Wadden Islands were canceled, officials said.

Officials evacuated a grade school in Mussel out of concern that a large tree may topple onto it, DutchNews.nl said.

KLM Airline canceled 42 flights early and said it expected to cancel more.

Officials at London's Heathrow Airport said 130 flights were canceled, while airlines at Gatwick and London Stansted airport also canceled flights, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The storm brought dozens of kite surfers to the coastal resort of Zandvoort to take advantage of the strong winds and waves, DutchNews.nl said.

Before the storm cleared Britain, the London Fire Brigade said three houses collapsed and two others were damaged by a gas explosion set off by a fallen tree.

Both reactors in Dungeness power station's B units were shut down automatically after power to the site was cut off, the BBC said. The site's back-up generators were providing power.

The BBC said the highest wind gust recorded was 99 mph at Needles Old Battery on the Isle of Wight.

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