LONDON – Northern Europe was hit by a third major storm in five days: heavy rains and strong winds on Sunday and Monday killed at least two others, disrupted travel and sparked hundreds of flood warnings in the region, which is still recovering from last week’s hurricane.
Storm “Franklin” advanced from the North Atlantic on Sunday afternoon, even as crews worked to clear fallen trees and restore electricity to thousands of customers affected by storms Dudley and Eunice last week. Heavy rains and strong winds swept across Northern Ireland and northern England before moving to France. The British Environment Agency has issued more than 300 warnings and flood warnings, and train operators have urged people not to travel.
In France, a 70-year-old couple died on Sunday after their car was brought into the English Channel near a small town in Normandy. The couple called for help, but she did not reach them in time.
“Because of the wind, the car skidded,” the mayor of Brickville-sur-Mer, Herve Bougain, told Ouest-France. “He was pushed aside when he fell into the water.”
At least 14 people have died across Europe during a week of wild weather, which meteorologists say is fueled by an unusually strong jet stream over the North Atlantic. The storms left hundreds of thousands without electricity and caused local floods and evacuations as strong winds tore roofs off buildings.
Gusts of up to 87 miles per hour (140 kilometers per hour) were recorded late Sunday on the Isle of Wight on Sunday after the UK Weather Service warned that storm Franklin would lead to wind speeds of 60 to 70 miles in an hour. Gusts of 122 mph (196 km / h) were measured on the Isle of Wight on Friday, temporarily the highest ever recorded in England when storm Eunice hit the region. The hurricane-level wind starts at 74 mph.
In Germany, the last storm was less severe than its immediate predecessors, but it still felled trees and tore off the roof of a house in Herdeck, near Dortmund. Two drivers drove into a fallen tree in Belme in northern Germany and were taken to hospital.
Official weather warnings in Germany, where the latest storm is known as Antonia, were lifted on Monday, although traffic disruptions continue in the northern parts of the country.
Insurance broker Aon estimated insured damage in Germany from successive storms at 1.6 billion euros ($ 1.8 billion). The Dutch Association of Insurers estimates that three storms caused at least 500 million euros ($ 567 million) in damage in the Netherlands.
Despite the training and warnings of the meteorological authorities, “the February storms caused a record number of claims and huge loss accounts,” said Richard Werding, director general of the Dutch Association of Insurers.
Storms tore roofs off buildings and uprooted trees across the Netherlands, killing four people on Friday as Eunice fought across the country. Insurers warn that in the coming days, predicting strong winds, there may be even more damage.
In Denmark, a storm uprooted trees and disrupted rail links in and around Copenhagen, the capital. In Sweden, there was heavy snowfall, which stopped buses in the capital Stockholm.
Elaine Hanley in Paris, Ian M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Geir Mulson in Berlin and Mike Corder in The Hague have contributed to this story.
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