Storm Isha: London commuters suffer travel chaos as UK hit by winds up to 107mph

Storm Isha: London commuters suffer travel chaos as UK hit by winds up to 107mph

Londoners suffered more travel disruption on Monday morning after Storm Isha battered the UK packing gusts up to 107mph.

Thousands of homes were left without power and a tornado warning was issued as the storm swept in from the Atlantic.

Transport Scotland said a gust of 107mph was recorded on the Tay Bridge.

It came after the Met Office said a top 99mph gust was recorded at Brizlee Wood in Northumberland, followed by 90mph at Capel Curig, Snowdonia.

London Fire Brigade revealed it was called to more than 100 weather-related incidents in a 12-hour period, including scaffolding, roofing and signage "in precarious positions", and flooded properties.

The entire UK remained under a yellow weather warning for wind until midday on Monday.

An "unusual" danger-to-life red weather warning was in place until 5am in Scotland, where an 84-year-old man died after the car he was a passenger in crashed into a fallen tree.

A man in his 60s was killed in a crash involving two vans and a fallen tree in Limavady, Co Londonderry, on Sunday night, the Police Service of Northern Ireland said.There were no trains running across Scotland on Monday morning.

London commuters also faced travel disruption on TfL and national rail services, after Storm Isha blew items onto railway lines and caused damage.

Passengers at Euston Station on Sunday evening (PA)
Passengers at Euston Station on Sunday evening (PA)

The Central Line was suspended between West Acton and Ealing Broadway on Monday, while engineers fixed a damaged roof at Ealing Broadway.London Overground was suspended between Highbury and Islington and Dalston Junction, and between Sydenham and Crystal Palace, due to obstructions on the tracks.

There were also no London Overground services between Willesden Junction and Clapham Junction due to an "operational incident" in Willesden Junction area.

It was also a miserable morning for Elizabeth Line passengers, as a broken train at Farringdon in central London left no service between Abbey Wood and Paddington.

Rail firm Southeastern said platforms 5 and 6 at Charing Cross Station were blocked by debris on the tracks around 6.20am on Monday, while a trampoline that blew onto the railway line at Rainham was also causing delays to services.

Avanti West Coast, which runs trains out of London Euston, was forced to end its services from the station around 6.15pm on Sunday, leaving people travelling to places such as Manchester or Glasgow with limited options.

The train operator previously advised customers not to travel unless necessary and to instead make journeys on Monday or Tuesday.

Network Rail imposed 50mph speed restrictions until Monday morning to keep passengers and trains safe from falling trees and debris blown onto tracks.

East Midlands Railway has said it expected “significant disruption” on Monday with delays and alterations to services, while no LNER trains will run north of Newcastle until midday.

"Major disruption" was also expected on the Gatwick Express between East Croydon and Gatwick Airport until 9am on Monday, due to engineering works not finishing on time. Passengers were warned trains could be cancelled or delayed.

Network Rail Scotland said no trains will run in Scotland until all routes had been inspected and repaired with overhead wire damage in at least 20 locations. The company said “reopening Scotland’s Railway is going to be a challenge”, and services

Canary Wharf's winter lights display was forced to close early on Sunday due to high winds (REUTERS)
Canary Wharf's winter lights display was forced to close early on Sunday due to high winds (REUTERS)

At least 10 trees fell on the line between Garrowhill and Easterhouse near Glasgow and damaged overhead lines with Network Rail Scotland saying it will take several hours to repair.

The remains of a garden shed had been blown onto the line at Bellgrove station in Glasgow, while a small fire broke out after a tree fell on overhead wires in Gartcosh, Cumbernauld.

A wall and fence blew onto the line at Glasgow Queen Street while the River Tay breached safety limits at the Dalguise Viaduct on the Highland Mainline, forcing their overnight watchperson to abandon the site.

Avanti West Coast warned of changes and delays on Monday and said no passengers should attempt to travel between Preston and Scotland until services are due to resume at 9am.

Meanwhile, air traffic control restrictions were in place, leading to flight cancellations and causing some planes to divert.

A flight travelling from Sharm El Sheikh to Glasgow Airport declared an emergency due to Storm Isha.

A spokesperson for Glasgow Airport said the TUI flight was “diverted to Manchester due to current weather conditions”.

Agencies across Cumbria declared themselves on standby for a major incident, with Sellafield nuclear site closing as a precaution on Sunday.

Someone was struck by falling debris after scaffolding became dislodged in Belfast. They were treated at the scene by emergency services.

A red warning for wind in northeast Scotland was in place until 5am on Monday with amber warnings covering much of the UK until 6am and further yellow warnings covering the entire country until noon.

A further yellow warning for wind for Scotland, Northern Ireland, north Wales and northern England is active from 4pm on Tuesday until noon on Wednesday.

A man struggles with an umbrella in windy conditions in Leeds (PA)
A man struggles with an umbrella in windy conditions in Leeds (PA)

The Met Office said “everybody” has been affected by the storm.

Heavy downpours battered some places, with 28 flood warnings in place in England and 50 in Scotland.

Thousands of homes in the north-west of England and Wales were without power on Sunday night, electricity companies reported.

Planes have also been grounded due to the storm and Belfast Airport cancelled all flights to Britain at around 6pm on Sunday.

Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria was also forced to close as a "precautionary step" due to the storm.

London Fire Brigade's Assistant Commissioner Pat Goulbourne said: "London Fire Brigade responded to around 100 weather-related calls in just over a 12 hour period after Storm Isha brought gusts of winds and heavy rain to parts of London.

Passengers at Euston station following train delays as Storm Isha has brought severe disruption to rail services (PA)
Passengers at Euston station following train delays as Storm Isha has brought severe disruption to rail services (PA)

"Firefighters attended incidents including scaffolding, roofing and signage in precarious positions as well as flooding to properties."

He reminded people to only call 999 "in an emergency or if there is risk to life", and to otherwise report fallen trees to councils. "In stormy weather, stay inside if you can and only travel if you really need to," he added.

Met Office meteorologist Tom Morgan described it as "pretty unusual for the whole of the country to be under a blanket wind warning".