St. Jude storm lashes UK and northern Europe, kills 10



A construction crane lays on top of the cabinet office government building after collapsing in high winds during a storm in central London on Oct. 28, 2013.


Ben Stansall

The St. Jude's Day storm, the worst to hit the UK in recent years, passed over southern Britain, northern France, the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden in the early hours of Monday, killing at least 10 people and leaving almost 300,000 people without power.

Four people were killed in the UK. A teenage girl in Hever, Kent, died after a tree fell on her home while she was sleeping, the BBC reported. In Watford, Hertfordshire, a man in his 50s from Ireland was killed when a tree crushed his car.

Two people died in Hounslow, southwest London, after a tree fell on their house and hit a gas pipe, causing an explosion.

Meanwhile a 14-year-old boy in Newhaven, East Sussex, is still missing, feared to have been swept out to sea while playing on the beach. 

Five people were killed in Germany, including three who were in their cars when trees fell on them.

Winds of up to 100 miles per hour and 1.6 inches of rain in some areas left about 220,000 people in the UK without power, along with about 75,000 people in northern France.

The storm also threw travel plans into chaos, with about 130 flights canceled at London's Heathrow Airport on Monday. In addition, trains in many parts of southern England have been delayed, and standing water and fallen trees have made roads hazardous. Ferry crossings across the Channel were also disrupted.

Train providers including First Capital Connect, C2C, Greater Anglia, Southern and Gatwick Express suspended their routes, saying said they would reopen only when they thought it was safe, according to Channel 4 News

The rescue mission to find the lost 14-year-old was called off Sunday night due to poor conditions, though the search was set to continue Monday morning. 

The storm had caused damage in the UK, but Martin Young, a senior forecaster at the UK's Met Office, said the extreme weather was not as bad as some previous storms. 

"While this is a major storm for the UK, we don't currently expect winds to be as strong as those seen in the 'Great Storm' of 1987 or the 'Burns Day storm' of 1990," Young said

"We could see some uprooted trees or other damage from the winds and there's a chance of some surface water flooding from the rainfall — all of which could lead to some disruption," he added.