Monday 29 November 2021

Storm Arwen

Days after Storm Arwen first caused major disruption across the UK, the impacts of the severe  weather continued to be keenly felt today, as around 66,000 homes remained without power and the bodies of dead seal pups continued to wash up on Scottish shores.

With parts of the country experiencing the coldest night of the season so far — including in Cumbria, which saw a temperature of -8.7C — charities and health authorities urged people to look out for neighbours and elderly relatives.

Meanwhile, thousands of engineers toiled – in some cases hampered by snow – to repair what the Energy Networks Association (ENA) described as the worst destruction of electricity lines seen in Britain for 16 years.

Some 870,000 homes have had their power restored so far. But the ENA said engineers were still uncovering “snapped electricity poles, downed wires and other complex faults” this afternoon, at which point 155,000 properties across the UK were still said to be without power.

All but two of 61 customers who became trapped at a North Yorkshire pub cut off by snow were finally able to leave on today after being stranded for three nights by snowdrifts. Temperatures at the Tan Hill Inn dropped to -7.6C as the group became trapped late on Friday.

Boris Johnson issued an apparent offer of help to people in northeast Scotland, where thousands faced a fourth night without electricity despite Holyrood’s deputy first minister John Swinney chairing an emergency meeting to oversee efforts to restore power, reconnect water supplies and re-establish telecommunications across the country.

And further down the coast in Tynemouth, it emerged that lifeboat crews had been battling 6m waves for 18 hours to rescue six fishermen whose vessel suffered an engine failure 70 miles out to sea.

Several RNLI lifeboats faced “some of the worst conditions” they have ever encountered over the weekend, the charity said.

Meanwhile, Transport for Wales warned that rail services would be affected this week as trains that ran over debris-littered tracks are repaired.

The north of England also saw continued rail disruption today, as London North Eastern Railway closed its East Coast mainline between Newcastle and Edinburgh throughout the day.

It came after Bridlington in East Yorkshire recorded high levels of rainfall, with 14.6mm of rain overnight on Sunday.

“The whole of the UK will turn milder. The places that will hold on to the cold air the longest will be in the southeast of the UK,” Mr Claydon said.

Another dip in temperatures would follow on Wednesday night, but likely not as low as over the weekend, he said, adding: “It will still be below zero, but more like -4C or -5C.”

Allotment Facebook groups have had the usual photos of blown away polytunnels and greenhouses utterly destroyed. Tony C Smith who is based on the North East Coast of the UK and one of my favourite YouTubers went up to his plot to check on his polytunnel recording those greenhouses that had lost glass panels and those that had been completely destroyed.

In the South East we got away thing very lightly, I had anticipated a frost covered car and very cold temperatures Sunday morning, and told Emma not to bother coming over, but as it happened it was sunny in the morning and there was no frost. 

Sunday night and Monday morning locally however was a completely different story, with a heavy frost on the cars and the roofs of the surrounding houses, and a real bitterness in the temperatures.

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