Storm Franklin: Thousands hit by power cuts and homes evacuated as third storm in a week batters UK – iNews

Three back-to-back storms have left a trail of destruction across parts of Britain with homes evacuated and people left without power.

Storm Franklin continued to lash the UK with gale-force winds and rain yesterday and travel disruption caused rail operators to cancel and suspend dozens of services, while widespread flooding and fallen trees obstructed roads.

The storm is the third to batter the nation in the past week, and comes days after Storm Eunice left 1.4 million households without electricity.

There were “still just under 30,000 households who are without power” as of 4pm today following Storm Eunice, Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said in a Commons statement, and promised that teams of dedicated engineers are “working night and day” to get people reconnected as soon as possible”.

The Environment Agency today urged communities in parts of the West Midlands and the north of England, especially those along River Severn, to be prepared for significant flooding until tomorrow following high rainfall from Storm Franklin.

A house damaged by Storm Franklin in Ashton-under-Lyne (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty)

It issued a rare “severe” flood warning in Ironbridge, Worcestershire this afternoon as the river swelled, warning of “danger to life”, while officials began evacuating nearby houses.

In Derbyshire, Matlock suffered extensive flooding on high streets, while the Hurt Arms pub in Belper was entirely surrounded by flood water.

Tracks at Rotherham’s train station, in south Yorkshire, were entirely submerged by water, blocking rail services in and out of the station.

A car parked beside the house was also badly damaged (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty)

In Surrey, around 1,300 people were left without water or experiencing low pressure yesterday were impacted by adverse weather conditions and power cuts which disrupted supply pumps and monitoring services on the Thames Water network, and the company set up bottled water station for those in need.

Homes in the GU5, GU6, RH5 and RH12 postcodes were impacted by adverse weather conditions and power cuts which disrupted supply pumps and monitoring services on the Thames Water network.

Thames Water said that they were hoping to restore water supplies on Monday, and offering support and bottled water to customers who needed it.

‘People look after each other in Cumbria’: Community rallies round after yet another power cut

In the village of Coniston in the Lake District, as many as 2,700 properties were left in the dark in the surrounding area on Monday, one local claimed.

Phil Johnston, who runs a holiday homes business called The Coppermines, has been offering warmth, shelter and a hot drink to anyone who needs it in the area.

Mr Johnston has several generators which he uses to power some of the holiday cottages and his own home.

“We’ve got five or six staff working so first thing this morning I was saying [on Facebook] ‘if anybody wants to warm up and get a cup of tea they are welcome’,” he said.

Phil Johnston offered his holiday cottages out to be people in need of warmth and shelter after power cuts in Coniston, Cumbria. (Photo: Supplied)

“I’ve been here 40 years – people look after each other in Cumbria. Everybody knows everybody else so we help each other in any way we can.

“Since we’re lucky to have more facilities we’re more than happy to help.”

Electricity North West estimated it would not be restored until Tuesday at the earliest – but Mr Johnston is hopeful it might be sooner.

“We had another power cut on Friday and they said we wouldn’t get it back until Saturday but it came back on Friday night… so you never know!”

In Leicestershire, a couple narrowly escaped when a large tree crashed through the roof of their home and “wrecked” two upstairs bedrooms today.

Gowan Wharrier, 79, and his wife Barbra, also 79, had gone downstairs for around ten minutes when the tree fell onto their thatched cottage, built in the 1640s.

Speaking to reporters outside their home in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Mr Wharrier said: “We’d both been working upstairs on the computer, and that’s another room that’s been affected. Then we’d both been downstairs for five to 10 minutes, and then the tree went.”

He added: “I was shocked to start with, but there’s other people in worse circumstances. Neither of us have been hurt, so get on with it.”

Gowan and Barbara Wharrier had gone downstairs just ten minutes before the tree crashed through their roof in Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire. (Photo: Joe Giddens/PA)

Earlier today Storm Franklin caused widespread rush-hour travel disruption, with National Rail telling customers not to travel as it said there was a reduced timetable with speed restrictions in place on some routes.

Stretches of the M60 in Greater Manchester and the M6 in Lancashire were closed due to incidents during the storm, including a lorry that hit a bridge and caught fire.

A man walks through waves crashing on the promenade during strong winds in Folkestone, Kent, on Monday. (Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA)

In Didsbury, south Manchester, a severe flooding warning was dropped on Monday morning after “intensive” efforts from local authorities to manage flood water overnight.

However, seven older people spent Sunday night at a rest centre set up in Didsbury Mosque after flooding threatened their ground floor flats in a retirement community.

Councillor Bev Craig, leader of the council, said: “We owe a huge debt of thanks to staff at the Environment Agency, emergency services and volunteers who have worked with Council staff overnight to monitor the risk of flooding and keep us safe.”

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In Felsted, Essex, Susan and her husband lost power for around 32 hours during the weekend, with energy outages from lunchtime on Friday until 10pm on Saturday and again on Sunday night.

Susan said the couple were prepared for the storm, stocking up on candles and matches and tying down belongings outside. Susan said she kept busy with a new book and a jigsaw.

“We have a coal burning stove and had lots of coal in the garage which we haven’t used for ages,” she told i. “We have not had many power cuts before – nothing like this one. Luckily we have a gas hob too so could use that.”

Rebecca Ward-Dooley and her family were without power on Monday morning. (Photo: Supplied)

Rebecca Ward-Dooley lost all electricity at her home in the Yorkshire Dales for nearly five hours on Monday morning, with the storm downing her communication network and preventing her from working.

“As we have poor mobile phone signal and our landline is digital, it takes out all lines of communication which makes work impossible,” she told i.

“We have open fires and wood burners and an oil powered aga so are able to cook and keep warm in certain rooms. The dale has been very flooded, many fields under water and roads impassable.”

Ms Ward-Dooley said that she lost power for two days and two nights during Storm Arwen, so had prepared for the incoming weather by charging devices and batteries and stocking up and fuel and candles.