Storm Imogen arrived in England late last night, with gusts of nearly 100mph. Sea defences were breached and homes were left helpless, with over 15,000 having no power by morning. The Cornish coast, in the south-west had waves of nearly 20 meters high recorded and the sea state was classed as phenomenal – an extremely rare warning anywhere in the English Channel, especially inshore.
Disruption to Transport
Many commuters were left stranded before they set off in to the storm. As the winds continued to howl and gusts reached their peak by dawn;
- Train services cancelled – due to flooded stations and trees blown on to the tracks
- Roads closed – Again, flooded, but some motor-ways were also shut due to overturned lorries.
- Many bridges shut off – Motorists face long delays and detours as many sea and river bridges were classified as too dangerous to use.
- Cross channel ferry services suspended – Ferries to Belgium, France and Spain were all suspended with many remaining in port overnight.
A Lucky Escape
With buildings having their roofs blown off and many trees being left to the mercy of the winds, thankfully, at this time there have been no fatalities recorded, however, several injuries have been reported, mostly from falling debris.
Two young children were hurt when a wall toppled on to them as they walked to school, and a man has told his story of fate, as he stepped out of his home and walked to his car he was stunned to see a tree fall across its roof.
No Let Up From the Storm
After the south of the country taking a pounding for more than 24 hours the storm is beginning to take its toll. Storms of this magnitude are a rare occurrence in the region, as most of the severe weather passes to the north and Scotland, this intensifies the impact of the storm due to the areas ill-preparedness. Although the storms were forecast the region has no contingency for this type of weather due to the isolated events. It has been several years since the south coast has seen winds as persistent as Imogen. Over 50 flood warnings remain in place and with high river levels and more rain forecast through the night there is no let up from Storm Imogen just yet.