Storm Isha claimed three lives when it hit Britain on Sunday and Monday, with the Met Office now warning of more weather destruction at the hands of Storm Jocelyn
Deadly Storm Isha claimed three lives in the UK and two in Ireland as it left a trail of devastation across the country, with more to come on Tuesday when Jocelyn blows in.
Isha was thought to have carried the “highest wind speeds on the planet”, with 107mph recorded on the Tay Bridge at Dundee. And the Met Office warned there would be little time to recover as Jocelyn, the 10th named storm of the season, is due tonight.
Storm Isha left 24,000 homes without power, mainly in the north of England and Scotland, according to the Energy Networks Association. Some 170,000 properties in the Republic of Ireland and 15,000 in Northern Ireland are also down.
The railway network was badly hit as sheds, fence panels, trampolines and patio furniture ended up on the tracks.
Air passengers described “flights from hell” as pilots struggled to land, with 83 planes diverting to places such as Hungary, Germany and France because they could not get down. Tragically, a man was found dead at 7.15am on Monday after falling down a manhole after barriers around it blew away.
The victim, who has not been named, is believed to have suffered a fatal head injury in the “freak accident” in Bradford, West Yorks. A neighbour said: “From what I’ve been told, a man was leaving the pub and he’s fallen into the hole and banged his head. It happened late last night. It’s heartbreaking to think that he had been there all night.”
An 84-year-old man died after a car he was in crashed into a fallen tree in Grangemouth, near Falkirk. And in Ireland, a man in his 40s died in a flood-related car crash in County Mayo.
In Northumberland, a 26-year-old man is in critical condition after colliding with a tree on a road in Cramlington. There were some narrow escapes, too. A man and a woman in their 20s and a three-year-old girl were pulled from their car when it became trapped after a river broke its banks in Appersett, West Yorks.
And five people and two dogs were rescued from two cars, a van and an HGV after getting stuck in floods in Morton-on-Swale, North Yorks. Another motorist narrowly escaped when the entire roof of a building was blown off and landed on the road in front.
Chris Woollas, 50, who captured the incident in Belton, Lincs, on video, said: “The person in the car doesn’t know how lucky they are. “If they had been driving a little bit slower, the roof could have gone straight through the windscreen.”
Some plane passengers told of feeling lucky to be alive after horrific flights. Catherine Connolly, 26, was on a flight from Amsterdam to Belfast on Sunday night when it attempted to land three times. She told BBC Newsbeat: “You started to hear people screaming… we managed to land. The whole plane clapped, sort of un-ironically.”
BBC Spotlight host Ollie Yates posted: “Just had flight from hell – Krakow to Bristol. Tears, prayers, panic attacks. Glad to be on the ground.” One plane-load expecting to land in Gatwick ended up in Paris and had to get an overnight coach to the UK.
Passenger Mark Perkins told Sky News: “The plane started going up, down, sideways. I thought we were going to meet our makers.”
Stephen McClure, a retired air traffic controller, said on Sunday night: “Currently Storm Isha has the highest wind speeds on Earth.”
The storm caused cancellation chaos on the rails. Network Rail said “hundreds of engineers” were working to remove debris from tracks. A spokesman added: “It’s been a wild night.”
In Penrith, Cumbria, Simon Furness, 55, heard bangs on the roof and found a trampoline had landed on top of it. He said: “I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was like a war zone.”
Storm Jocelyn is set to bring winds of 80mph in Scotland and 65mph in northern England tonight. It is only the second time the letter J has been reached – the last was Jake in 2016.