ST JUDE STORM: Round-up of news and pictures after strong winds hit SE London and north Kent (From This Is Local London)
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ST JUDE STORM: Round-up of news and pictures after strong winds hit SE London and north Kent
Updated 5:42pm Monday 28th October 2013 in News
This live event has finished
- See below for a recap of our live blog covering the damage and disruption caused by the St Jude storm across south-east London and north Kent
- Send your pictures to email@example.com, tweet @NewsShopper or text 80360 starting your message with NEWS SHOPPER
We're wrapping up our storm blog here. There has been some damage caused by the wind and some very annoying travel disruption for people during the day, but overall this area appears to have escaped lightly - which is something to be thankful for.
Thanks very much to everyone who has contributed to our blog with tweets, pictures and comments.
Sadly we can't promise everyone a smooth journey home tonight, but we hope you all make it back safe and sound.
Southeastern says it is running train services "as best as we can".
For live running information see the Southeastern website
Or go to National Rail Enquiries
Here is the latest weather forecast for tonight and beyond:
No service on @LDNOverground Camden Road - Richmond/Clapham Junction. Good service on all other routes.— @LDNOverground 28 October 2013
It's the news we've all been waiting for. Forget the trains, the buses and the tubes. Service has resumed on the Emirates Air Line. Your travel woes are at an end.
A mammoth 800 calls were made by elderly people each hour to a Kent-based personal alarm company following the storm this morning.
Invicta Telecare responded to nearly 7,000 calls from worried customers in the 12 hours following the start of the bad weather. Many were left without power and access to carers delayed by rail and road closures.
We're now running a reduced service on most routes. Metro & high speed services running every 30 mins, mainline services running every hour— @Se_Railway 28 October 2013
Thanks to reader Gaynor Wingham who has sent us these pictures of damge caused in Eltham Park South and Well Hall Pleasaunce.
In Bugsby's Way, Charlton, this morning a man was rushed to hospital after being hit by a falling brick.
At around the same time, in Belvedere, another man needed treatment after being hit by some wood.
Excellent video here from the Met Office showing satellite imagery of the storm moving across the UK between Sunday evening and Monday morning.
Oi Bromley counsel come fix Blyth road please http://t.co/iik7DBuu8L— @joshvenchard 28 October 2013
Another amazing image from Beckenham, this time in Barnfield Wood Road.
Crews in Kent worked through the night to clear more than 100 trees which fell across roads during the storm.
Highways workers helped to sort roads and tackle flooding as storms lashed the area.
Extra officers were drafted in to help and were co-ordinated by Kent County Council’s Highway Management Centre, which remained open overnight Sunday to Monday.
The council’s highway manager Toby Howe said: “Planning over the weekend meant we could tackle problems as soon as they happened.
“We worked in partnership with Kent Police, other emergency services and UK Power Networks to sort out power lines where they fell across roads, and with colleagues from the Highways Agency to pool our resources.”
According to Richard Sibley, this Beckenham cricket wicket cover was blown straight off a pitch and into this van.
M25 J31 Anticlockwise: Both Bores of the Dartford Tunnel have been re-opened. The Highways Agency have temporarily suspended charges.— @KentHighways 28 October 2013
The maximum gust speed recorded last night was 99 mph at Needles Old Battery, Isle of Wight http://t.co/Kq67Rd7hpC— @metoffice 28 October 2013
As for the roads, here is the latest situation across SE London
And here is the latest information on the Dartford Crossing, where there is still long delays.
Here's the latest on the trains:
"Southeastern are currently running an amended service following the storm earlier today where more than 50 trees were blown onto the track.
"Network Rail have been working hard to remove these obstructions and the majority of routes are now open with either an hourly or half hourly service."
We'll try and bring you an update on the travel siituation ahead of evening rush hour later.
DARTFORD CROSSING: Traffic is flowing well over the QE2 Bridge and into Kent this afternoon.
More storm damage, this time in Beckenham. David Wood sent us this picture of a tree in Worsley Bridge Road.
DARTFORD CROSSING: The tolls have been lifted for traffic heading from Kent into Essex - meaning the crossing is currently FREE!
Traffic currently queuing back beyond Junction 4 at Orpington but is now starting to move close to the Darenth Interchange at Junction 2.
This Google Map shows the extent of the delays (in red) both on the M25 and on the A2.
A tree downed by the wind in Holstein Way, Thamesmead. Photo by James Kane.
News Shopper reader Karl Brown took this picture in Highlands Road, Orpington, this morning.
It is not known whether the car has been seriously damaged by the branches.
12:35pm Mon 28 Oct 13
Who gets all the extra logs? I wouldn't mind a few.
@NewsShopper Oops can't go that way. Horn park lane SE12 just a bit blocked http://t.co/JOTK396nVu— @Cook79Pc 28 October 2013
Experts have said that, while the gales had been relatively weak compared with the Great Storm of 1987, it had shown how much weather predictions have improved compared with 26 years ago.
Then, forecaster Michael Fish famously got it wrong when he told viewers that a hurricane was not on its way - just hours before it ripped through Britain.
Sean Penston at MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "This time around the event was quite well forecast, especially when you bear in mind that it wasn't even a physical entity when it was predicted.
"The forecasting models did really well in terms of mapping the storm and this is due to great improvements in computer power and our understanding of the physics of the atmosphere."
Here are some of the main storm headlines from across the country:
- Falling trees killed a man in his 50s from Harrow in north west London as he drove through Watford in Hertfordshire and a 17-year-old girl was killed as she slept in a static caravan in Hever, Kent.
- Some 300,000 homes suffered power cuts at some point throughout the morning, the Energy Networks Association said, with energy now restored to around 30,000.
- Falling trees and other debris covering railway tracks caused travel misery for thousands of commuters, with trains and London Underground services suspended.
- The port of Dover in Kent had to shut, more than 130 flights at Heathrow Airport were cancelled and many roads were impassable due to fallen trees.
- Debris falling on to power lines also caused a nuclear power station to automatically close down both its reactors, leaving its own diesel generators to provide power for essential safety systems. Martin Pearson, director at the Dungeness B station in Kent, which is run by EDF Energy, said: "This is a scenario we are well prepared for and we quickly responded calmly and professionally to the loss of supply."
- The strongest gust of wind was recorded at 99mph on the Isle of Wight.
- The Environment Agency said there were still 12 flood warnings in place across the South West, the Midlands and the East of England. There were also 130 flood alerts telling people to be prepared for flooding.
- A falling tree destroyed three houses when it fell on a gas main and led to an explosion in Hounslow, west London. An elderly woman was taken to hospital following the blast and three people were rescued by London Fire Brigade.
- A double-decker bus "rolled over" in Suffolk, injuring the driver and several passengers.
- In central London, Whitehall was closed both ways between Parliament Square and Horse Guards Avenue after a crane collapsed on to the roof of the Cabinet Office.
DARTFORD CROSSING: Stationary traffic back beyond junction 4 at Orpington.
A garage director arrived to find a huge chunk of tree had fallen outside his business in Knockhall Chase, Greenhithe, this morning (pictured below).
Andy Oliver, of Paramount Garage, said: “When I came in there was a massive branch in the road with police tape round it.
“I could also see all the problems with the Dartford Bridge.
“Other than that, we’ve been alright.”
The threat of further storms is concerning some in the News Shopper area.
Ray Hemmings, manager of Ye Olde Leather Bottle in Dover Road, Northfleet, said:“I’m worried about the storm they’re predicting for Sunday, it sounds like that will be worse.
“It’s a very old building and dates back to the 1800s so we were a bit concerned but it’s been alright – fingers crossed.
“We’ve had a couple of leaks but that’s all."
The "ghost town" atmosphere is unnerving some in Northfleet, Gravesham.
Juahar Dhaliuual who manages the Fish and Chip and Fried Chicken cafe, in Dover Road, is shocked by the deadly quiet atmosphere of the area.
He said: “They are staying off the streets, normally in holiday time it’s really busy.
“We can’t see anybody: no cars, no children, no one in the street.
“It’s just too windy – it’s a bit of a ghost town.
“I woke at 2am because of the storm and my 10-year-old daughter was awake, she said 'Daddy, I can’t sleep, there’s too much noise'.”
The worst of the weather seemed to have passed, at least in this area. Here is the latest weather forecast:
Chris Abbott sent us another picture of a fallen tree in Caygill Close, Bromley.
A fallen tree in Bickley after the storm.
Christ Church Maple Road #penge Sadly this Horse Chestnut #tree has caused a lot of damage @GSTreecare @NewsShopper http://t.co/XfvJvwjhZw— @GSTreecare 28 October 2013
A couple of disgruntled train customers there. How are you finding the rail services now that disruption is clearing after the storm?
@Se_Railway at least have the decency to communicate with customers. Ticket office locked at Kent house and not a sign of staff— @andyjohnw 28 October 2013
@NewsShopper #ukstorm london No Trains on Hayes line - Station deserted and tree on line (Elmers End side) - Ticket Office locked— @FattusBlokus 28 October 2013
This picture was taken in Maiden Lane, Crayford, at 7.30am this morning by Twitter user WayneO_Eagle.
DARTFORD CROSSING: Although the QE2 Bridge is now open, traffic is only being allowed through the west bore now due to the crash in Essex.
Here is the latest picture of the traffic heading towards the tunnels out of Kent, with thanks to the Highways Agency.
DARTFORD CROSSING: Just one of the two tunnels heading into Essex is open following the crash on the M25 just into Essex.
Two lorries were involved in a crash at around 10.35am this morning.
Only minor injuries were reported.
Petts Wood station in south-east London. A chainsaw gang is there sorting it, one of more than 200 today so far http://t.co/whaesaj1tt— @networkrailPR 28 October 2013
The majority of London Overground services will be suspended until approximately 13:30 http://t.co/m2HCuT4z7Y— @NRE_LndnOvergnd 28 October 2013
Chris Abbott sent in this picture of a tree down in Caygill Close, Bromley.
"A big one, luckily fell the right way. Survivor of many storms."
London Ambulance Service has been responding to a number of storm-related incidents since 6am this morning.
Falling trees, damaged buildings and a motorcyclist injured are just some of the emergency calls received as the high winds hit the capital.
Deputy director of operations Peter McKenna said: "It is proving to be a busy morning for us for storm-related injuries.
“We would encourage anyone to consider if their journey is entirely necessary.”
“If Londoners decide to go out then the service is encouraging them to take precautions to stay safe.”
He added: “Our motorbike and cycle responders who work outdoors are not on duty today but instead working from vehicles.
“We would encourage others not to use motorbikes or bicycles - as they are particularly vulnerable in high cross winds.
“Remember a storm of this severity has the potential to uproot trees and damage buildings so if walking, take great care and look out for flying debris.”
As well as a number of storm related calls staff are also facing difficult driving conditions to reach patients and then take them to hospital.
Mr McKenna added: "On a day like today, it is more important than ever that we're able to focus on helping those in most need of our treatment.
"Anyone who needs emergency medical help should call 999 as normal, but people with less serious conditions should consider other options such as calling their GP or NHS 111, or making their own arrangements to get to hospital if they need to go there."
The owners of this house are believed to have been away overnight when this tree crashed into their property in Tudor Way, Petts Wood.
It looks as if the trunk missed their home but the branches have landed against the windows.
A half hourly service between Orpington and London Victoria is now running #ukstorm— @Se_Railway 28 October 2013
DARTFORD CROSSING: We thought things were on the up - how wrong could we be?
A crash involving a lorry and a car is now blocking the M25 shortly after the Dartford Tunnels in Essex, close to Junction 30.
This picture shows the state of the lorry (with thanks to Lee_Skittles on Twitter) - adding to the delays travelling out of Kent already.
@NewsShopper How about getting readers to send in their favourite storm-themed songs? I had great fun playing Riders on the Storm last night— @Mi11s 28 October 2013
DARTFORD CROSSING: The QE2 Bridge is re-opening.
Just heard the QE2 Bridge has re-opened at the Dartford Crossing.
Traffic flows at Blackwall Tunnel both ways now much better but N/B traffic remains heavy south of Woolwich Road F'over - back to Kidbrooke.— @TfLTrafficNews 28 October 2013
Blustery in Gravesend Reach today. Seen alongside at Tilbury are Kotug vessels, RT Leader and RT Champion http://t.co/HcsQK40C7R— @LondonPortAuth 28 October 2013
Unless anyone has evidence to the contrary, it looks like our area of SE London and north Kent has escaped almost unscathed from the St Jude storm, except for fallen trees and of course the widespread travel disruption. Has the storm affected you at all?
Between 6am and 9am this morning, our Control officers took 412 emergency 999 calls. Thankfully things are calming down a bit now! #storm— @LondonFire 28 October 2013
Over 20 trees down so far in @LewishamCouncil :George Lane se6 #lcs http://t.co/V4a3zC8OtZ via @LoveCleanLondon @UKStorm2013— @LewishamCouncil 28 October 2013
What sort of information is being given out at train stations this morning? Have you been given any indication of when trains might be running again? Have staff been helpful?
A number of trees and branches are being dealt with by emergency crews, who have worked through since the early hours #storm— @bexleycomms 28 October 2013
Park Road Beckenham this morning.... http://t.co/Aedzubf4uM— @Iga_ShowHouse 28 October 2013
Severe delays between Highbury & Islington and New Cross/New Cross Gate, no service on all other routes. Further updates when I have them— @LDNOverground 28 October 2013
Delay travelling til later this morning. Most #southeastern routes NOT open. Very limited high speed service between Ashford and St Pancras— @Se_Railway 28 October 2013
Storm has taken down a 7ft brick wall! Welling in Kent http://t.co/peND1DBASL— @Da_Niall 28 October 2013
A bit of storm damage in Orpington. http://t.co/rBZZbfsTam— @johnpster 28 October 2013
Windy in Welling http://t.co/3eadzWcBMn— @RGrumpy 28 October 2013
@NewsShopper the drive sidcup http://t.co/Bk3yu7QOSZ— @n_s_martin 28 October 2013
@NewsShopper Welling high street. Not holding up traffic tho. http://t.co/mpHI0mFBf6— @CMangi 28 October 2013
And finally no buses from New Cross due to a fallen crane on the Old Kent Road! http://t.co/UFUeEJaBpr— @TheLewishamWay 28 October 2013
#southeastern passengers are advised to DELAY TRAVELLING until later this morning. @networkrail will give us the all clear when it's safe— @Se_Railway 28 October 2013
9:08am Mon 28 Oct 13
Southeastern high speed service to London is working
Some of our reporters are having difficulty getting into the office today due to the travel disruption. How was your journey into work today?
Do you think travel companies were maybe 'over-prepared' for the storm or were they right to annouonce mass cancellations ahead of time?
Branches and trees on lines across #southeastern routes. Most trains are NOT running.— @Se_Railway 28 October 2013
Southeastern man at Lewisham station doesn't think trains will run till "way after" 10.— @Mark_Chandler 28 October 2013
Tree in morrisons car park in northfleet! http://t.co/mrn2DwTjuE— @jwilli777 28 October 2013
There is currently no service on the line due to high winds.— @EmiratesAirLDN 28 October 2013
A fallen tree in Chislehurst Road, Chislehurst. Photo by Dan Keel.
Tree down on Park Road, Beckenham (between Lawn Road & Copers Cope Road) #UKStorm http://t.co/LLDI2VkfOT— @bloreboy 28 October 2013
@NewsShopper well my lilac trees gone erith http://t.co/kMNh9shv3J— @grouville 28 October 2013
The Woolwich Ferry is now running with a one boat service.— @TfLTrafficNews 28 October 2013
The Woolwich Ferry is now running with a one boat service.— @TfLTrafficNews 28 October 2013
And here is the weather forecast in video form:
Services are suspended on London Tramlink between Lloyd Park and New Addington due to obstruction on the line at Coombe Lane.
Lines 1, 2 and 4 are now operating with delays.
Here is the latest weather forecast for the area.
Unsurprisingly it shows things are likely to be windy and rainy today.
Bromley Council workers are dealing with a fallen tree in Poverest Road.
The fallen tree in Chislehurst Road, near the junction with Poverest Road, is causing problems for traffic.
A2: The A2 is shut London-bound from the Darenth Interchange due to several fallen trees around the Dartford Heath and Black Prince areas.
Chislehurst Road near the junction with Poverest Road is blocked due to a fallen tree.
Emergency services are at the scene dealing with the incident.
SIDCUP: Circus Fantasia, which is performing at the Flamingo Park this week, has cancelled both its performances today due to the high winds.
People will pre-booked tickets will be able to change them for another show.
BLACKWALL TUNNEL: Two lanes have blocked and traffic is queuing due to a fallen tree on the A102 Blackwall Tunnel approach at the A206 Woolwich Road/Peartree Way.
Congestion on the A2 as far back as the Kidbrooke Interchange.
Southborough Lane Baptist Church had a lucky escape when a tree outside the main building was torn down by the storm battering the News Shopper area.
Firefighters were called to the scene in Southborough Lane, Petts Wood, at around 6.40am to deal with the tree.
They have cordoned off the area to keep people safe.
Send us pictures of storm damage in your area.
A flood alert is in place on the River Darent from Westerham to Dartford, including Brasted, Sundridge, Chipstead, Dunton Green, Otford, Eynsford and South Darenth.
An environment agency spokesman said: "With recent rainfall the catchment is already wet.
"With the additional risk of blockages from wind fallen tree debris this will lead to a rise in river levels.
"This may result in flooding of low lying land and some roads.
"No property flooding is expected at this time.
"This alert covers the River Darent from Westerham to Dartford, including Brasted, Sundridge, Chipstead, Dunton Green, Otford, Eynsford and South Darenth.
"This alert is being issued based upon predicted rising in river levels rather than observed.
"We are continuing to monitor the situation closely and will update this message as the situation changes."
How have you been affected by the storm?
There is, unsurprisngly, no service on the Tilbury to Gravesend ferry this morning either.
A Kent Police spokesman said: "Kent Police is advising people to be extra careful due to adverse weather currently being experienced across the county.
"Officers are urging the public to be extra cautious when going out this morning following recent weather warnings about strong winds and rain.
"The latest forecasts suggest the most severe gales will sweep the county between 8am and 10am on Monday with coastal and elevated areas the most affected.
"Those planning to travel are advised to do so only if it is necessary and to be extra careful in the event of treacherous road conditions.
"Members of the public planning to travel abroad are advised to check for any delays with their travel operator."
Kent Police has reported more than 70 fallen trees in the county overnight, including:
- Pine Close, Swanley
- A20 at West Kingsdown
- A2 at Wilmington
- A20 at Wrotham
- A206, Dartford
ST JUDE has already caused chaos elsewhere in the UK - here is a brief roundup so far, as winds topped 99mph this morning on the Isle of Wight:
- More than 7,000 homes in the Bristol and Bath area have reportedly been left without power.
- A teenage boy is also feared dead after being swept out to sea in Newhaven, East Sussex yesterday afternoon.
- Homes were also left without power on the south coast, in Poole, New Forest, Yeovil, Aldershot, Petersfield and Basingstoke, while in West Sussex a further 200 homes are without power.
- Both Severn bridges are closed and the A249 Sheppey Crossing is closed.
- About 60 flights are cancelled at London's Heathrow Airport today
- Ferry journeys have also been disrupted, with P&O Condor, DFDS Seaways and Hovertravel all reporting cancellations.
- There are also widespread reports of local roads in Cornwall, Dorset, Hampshire and Sussex blocked or closed due to fallen trees and flash flooding.
- Cornwall Council reported heavy flooding on the A388 at Hatt, and trees fallen on a number of A-roads, including the A374 at Sheviock and on the A390 near Lostwithiel. Street lamps were also blown out in Saltash.
- In Newquay 100 properties were left without power for part of the night, and emergency services were called out to almost 40 incidents.
- A police car was damaged by a falling tree on the B2104 in Sussex, officers said, while a car also hit a fallen tree in Langney Rise, Eastbourne. The driver was uninjured, police said.
Network Rail’s managing director of network operations Robin Gisby said: “Passengers will, I hope, understand their safety and the safety of our workforce has to be the rail industry’s number one priority during such severe weather.
“We will be monitoring conditions on the ground throughout the night and into the morning, but we simply cannot allow trains to run until the storm has passed and we have been able to make sure that the railway is safe and free of damage or obstructions.
“If the forecast proves to be correct then the timing of this storm could not be more challenging, with the worst of the weather coming right at the start of the Monday morning rush-hour for many people.
“Once the storm has passed we will have a better idea of the work needed to get the railway back up and running safely and I assure passengers that all available resources will be put towards that effort.”
Click here for the latest travel news.
A2 BEXLEY/DARTFORD: It's chaos on the A2 this morning too, as a fallen tree has complteley blocked the London-bound carriageway between Dartford Heath and the Black Prince Interchange.
All traffic is being diverted off the A2 at Dartford Heath.
Long delays and gridlocked traffic back as far as the Darenth Interchange.
Most trains will not resume until the worst of the storm has passed and Network Rail engineers have been able to check the lines for fallen trees, branches and other debris.
It is expected most services in the area will be running by around 9am although once train companies have been given the all clear to start running their trains they may be running a reduced or altered service as speed restrictions remain in place to ensure trains can run safely.
DARTFORD CROSSING: The QE2 Bridge is shut and all traffic is being diverted through the tunnels.
Delays are building up in the area.
To start things off, train operator Southeastern says trains won't be running until at least 9am this morning.
Trees have fallen on the line in the Orpington area.
A spokesman said: "There's been strong winds and heavy rain overnight, as predicted. And strong winds forecast to continue most of this morning.
"There are trees on the line at Orpington, Sevenoaks, Frant, Beltring and a telegraph pole has been bent obstucting the line at Deal.
"Network Rail will be working hard to clear these as quickly as possible.
"Once they've given us the 'all clear' we'll be able to start running services.
"On many routes it's likely this will be after 9am."
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