Dover closed as winds hit 100mph

Ferries cancelled, homes flooded, and trapped drivers rescued as South bears brunt of storms

A A A

Prolonged and, at times, torrential rainfall, as well as gales that reached a top speed of 100mph, gave southern England and Wales a tempestuous Saturday. A respite is promised today, before the storms return tomorrow. The Environment Agency has issued 110 flood warnings.

The south coast bore the brunt of the storms, which caused the cancellation of ferry services between England and France and at one point yesterday the port of Dover was closed.

As the storm swept in from the Atlantic on Friday, dozens of Cornish roads disappeared beneath two feet of water and the Tamar bridge on the Devon border was closed to all high-sided vehicles, motorcycles and pushbikes. Coastguards and a helicopter were scrambled in "treacherous" conditions to rescue a windsurfer washed on to rocks at Kingsbridge, Brixham.

In Dorset five people, including a pregnant woman and two children, were rescued when their car got stuck in floodwaters near Bridport, and in Somerset gales brought down power cables and trees. Winds of 100mph were recorded at the Needles lighthouse on the Isle of Wight and 75mph gusts blasted Lee-on-Solent in Hampshire. Firefighters launched boats in Haywards Heath, Sussex, to rescue workers from an industrial estate flooded when a culvert became blocked. Fire crews answered more than 40 calls as a result of floods and lightning strikes in the area, and in nearby Crawley, a tree caught fire after crashing down on electricity cables.

A tornado damaged 60 homes in Benfleet, Essex. In Kent, a school was closed and a pensioner who was trapped in her flooded car was plucked to safety. On the Suffolk coast, three oilmen were hauled out of the sea after 45mph gusts wrecked their rig supply boat and smashed it on to a jetty.

Wales was also badly affected by the storms. Torrential rain on Friday caused a rockslide at Chepstow railway station which shut the Newport to Gloucester line. Twelve passengers were rescued from rising floodwaters that trapped their coach near Haverfordwest, and 14 people were stranded in their cars around Tenby.

Yesterday, the Dartford and Sheppey crossings into Kent and the Medway bridge were closed, and forecasters were investigating reports of a second tornado in Lowestoft, Suffolk. In central London, the fireworks finale to the Lord Mayor's Parade was called off for the first time in more than 20 years.

Forecasters said the storm was "not untypical" for the time of year. Tony Burgess at the Met Office said it would abate today. "We're not thinking of severe gales, but maybe the odd gale in places. There could be another inch of rain," he said.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SAP Assessor

£26000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: SAP Assessor Job T...

Year 6 Teacher needed for 1 Term- Worthing!

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: Year 6 larger then life teach...

SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: SEN Jobs Available Devon

Infrastructure Lead, (Trading, VCE, Converged, Hyper V)

£600 - £900 per day: Harrington Starr: Infrastructure Lead, (Trading infrastru...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering