St Jude’s storm leaves four Britons dead
Four people have been killed after powerful storm St Jude hit Britain on Monday, destroying thousands of properties and leaving hundreds of homes without power and millions of commuters stranded across the country.
17-year-old Bethany Freeman is one of the four who lost their lives after a tree fell on the caravan she was sleeping in at Hever, Kent.
Donal Drohan, 51, was killed in Watford, Hertfordshire, after his car was crushed during morning rush hour as he drove to work.
Strong winds also destroyed three properties in Hounslow, west London, and killed an unnamed man and woman who were pulled from the rubble at their home after a tree fell on a gas main, leading to an explosion.
A 14-year-old boy, Dylan Alkins, is also reported to have drowned after being swept away in Newhaven, East Sussex, where he went swimming with his friends.
Prime minister David Cameron has expressed grief at the loss of life and damaged caused by St Jude storm as “hugely regrettable”. The PM also paid tribute to the work of emergency services and said that “the government is working to make sure that the emergency services are able to do as much as possible to provide assistance”.
Heavy rains fell across the country causing flash floods in parts of Cornwall, Dorset, Hampshire and Devon.
Yesterday’s bad weather destroyed thousands of properties in the UK, including Buckingham Palace which suffered two broken windows and a damaged roof. At least 600,000 homes were left without power last night after power stations shut down. Around 130 flights were cancelled and at least 40 railway lines blocked, whilst many roads made impassable leaving millions of commuters stranded.
Forecasters have predicted chilly, blustery conditions throughout the week, with a possibility of another storm on Friday which is more likely to bring heavy rains than strong winds.
Experts say the last comparable storm was 11 years ago in October 2002 when winds peaked at speeds of 102mph. St Jude has also affected parts of Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark claiming at least nine lives as it makes way over other parts of Europe.