EU Australia Online - News & information from the capital of Europe direct to Australian businesses

Atlantic fury hits UK

  • February 15th, 2014
  • Posted by EU Australia

England flood mapPeople in South and South-west England, and some parts further North are facing up to another weekend of severe Winter storms, after weeks of continuing bad weather.

They have been bringing destructive winds, heavy seas along the coast, extreme flooding on the coast and well inland, and widespread snowfalls; with that, paralysis of traffic movements and blackouts.

england storms 4A very large scale civil defence operation has been launched, with public authorities, the armed forces and volunteers out sandbagging towns and suburbs, at times using new-technology adjustable barricades and aqua-barriers – tubes pumped up with water from the flooding.

They have deployed satellites and aircraft to map the ongoing destruction, and as a morale-booster set the two Royal Princes, William and Harry to work out in the elements; all in a national effort for which the Prime Minister, David Cameron, has declared “money is no option”.

Nature so far has been threatening to overwhelm all that.


England storms 3The country is caught in a vortex of strong winds from the Atlantic, striking from the South and turning to create an accelerating pattern, looking like a gigantic tropical cyclone.

Authorities are calling it a “live event”; while it may ease from Monday, all is not over yet.

Strategic works have been undertaking to keep possible severe flooding out of London, as economic heads are already counting the costs of the disaster in terms of Pounds and New Pence.


The BBC says the national Environment Agency has issued 24 severe flood warnings covering parts of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey.

‘The latest warnings are for various places along the south coast of England.

‘The Met Office said that following the heavy rain that had fallen in many places during the day, it expected “potentially damaging” severe gales in southern England during the evening and into Saturday morning.

‘Snow has started falling in parts of northern England, Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland.

‘BBC Weather’s Peter Gibbs said that with gusts of up to 80mph (128.75 kph) likely, there was a danger of high tides bringing fresh coastal flooding.’

Widespread power failures are adding to the misery and danger; deaths associated with the crisis being reported each day.


The wild weather has also struck Ireland, and the European mainland, with the West coast of France battening down for a return bout of heavy storms. The forest parks of Brussels have been shut down as a precaution against crashing trees.

Prof. Nicholas Stern, author of the 2006 Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, was quoted  saying that the rainfall and storm surges had reached record levels, showing climate change effects.

A higher sea level would make the storm surges and flooding worse.

Nay-sayers, if also decked out in sou’westers and greatcoats, stacking the sandbags, are insisting the scientists could not measurably know that the link was there.


BBC, London, UK floods: River levels rise as rain and wind sweep in, 14.2.14., (14.2.14).

Euronews, Lyon, No let up for Europe as storms and flooding return, 14.2.14., (15.2.14).

Karl Mathiesen, Why has British weather been so bad?, The Guardian, London, 15.2.14., (15.2.14).

Met Office, London, Five Day Forecast, 14.2.14., (15.2.14).

Le Soir, Brussels, Les parcs bruxellois fermés ce week-end, (Brussels parks shut this weekend), 14.2.14., (15.2.14).

Pictures  BBC