Storm Angus: crew evacuated from cargo ship as winds lash UK
Twenty-three crew members were evacuated from a cargo ship after it crashed into another vessel near Dover, as Storm Angus caused flooding and chaos in parts of the UK. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the 200m (650ft) Saga Sky hit a barge full of rocks after losing power and breaking free of its anchor near Dover. A tug was dispatched to tow it to safety.
Steve Carson, the duty commander of the agency, said it had dealt with a major incident on Sunday morning in particularly challenging conditions with “HM Coastguard helicopters from Lydd and Lee-on-Solent on the scene”. Winds of 80mph were recorded at Langdon Bay on the Kent coast on Sunday morning and a gust swept into Guernsey at 84mph.
The eye of the storm moved out into the North Sea, leaving in its wake power cuts and floods.
Cross-channel ferry services were subject to delays on Sunday. More than 1,000 properties were without power on Sunday morning, mostly in Devon, according to Western Power Distribution. Exeter had more than two inches (54mm) of rainfall overnight, more than half of what is usually expected in the area for the entire month of November.
By mid-morning 19 flood warnings, meaning flooding was expected, were still in place from the Environment Agency.
Winds hindered firefighters’ efforts to extinguish a “major fire” in a building on Bognor seafront in West Sussex after they were called at about 3.45am.
A takeaway and a disused nightclub suffered extensive damage and 30 residents were evacuated from neighbouring flats. Adrian Murphy, of the West Sussex fire and rescue service, said: “This incident has taken place in the midst of a major storm and it was difficult to stand when we arrived on the seafront.”
Devon and Cornwall police declared a “major incident” at 4.15am and evacuated a residential park when rain caused the river Mole to burst its banks. The water flowed through the Mill on the Mole chalet park in South Molton, Devon, and at its peak was more than a metre deep, the force said. Just over an hour after the incident was declared, the rain stopped.
The flood subsided “very rapidly” and residents were allowed to return home. Scaffolding crushed a car when it was blown from a home in Brighton, East Sussex. The Met Office issued an amber “be prepared” warning from the Isle of Wight to Kent and advised to prepare for travel disruption, possible power cuts, damage to buildings, flooding and debris from trees.
A yellow “be aware” warning was issued for all parts of the country south of the M4 with gusts of up to 65mph expected in other coastal areas. The highest recorded rainfall was in Exeter, Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said. Forecasters predicted that conditions would improve from around midday on Sunday.
However, further wind and rain, which was expected to move north across England and Wales on Monday, could bring more flooding. Northern areas can expect more chilly weather with fairly light winds and clear skies.
Drivers crossing the Pennines were confronted with a covering of snow at high levels but all main routes remained open.
Winter wonderland scenes greeted walkers above 300 metres (1,000ft) in areas of the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales, with some light snow showers hitting lower ground in West Yorkshire. Further north, Durham police tweeted: “A66, Bowes to Cumbria, snow on both carriageways, slow moving but passable with care. Gritters hard at work.”
The temperature in Braemar in Aberdeenshire dropped to -8C (17.6F) on Friday night.
Anyone experiencing problems with their power network during the storm can contact 105 for further information and advice, or visit powercut105.com.
- ^ Storm Angus batters the south coast of England on Sunday (www.theguardian.com)