North grinds to a halt as winter comes storming in
Weather red alert as 165mph winds damage buildings and flooding brings chaos to roads
Rob Hastings is Deputy News Editor at The Independent. He has served on the news desk since 2010, and also writes travel articles, music reviews and features. In 2015 he shortlisted for the Washington Post’s Laurence Stern Fellowship for a series on reportage features from Iran.
Friday 09 December 2011
The British Isles were lashed by the worst storms in years yesterday, with many parts of the UK forced to shut down by hurricane-strength winds.
Roofs were blown from houses and shopfronts torn apart in Scotland, as gusts reached up to 165mph at the peaks of the Cairngorms – the highest windspeed in Britain since 173mph was recorded at the same spot in 1986.
The north saw the worst of the weather. Every major bridge in Scotland was closed after a red alert was issued by the Met Office. One wind turbine in north Ayrshire was so overworked that it caught fire, sending a stream of flames and sparks from the centre of its rotor. And in Glasgow and Aberdeen not a single school dared open its doors.
Though less severe south of the border, winds gusted at up to 100mph. Cross-Channel ferry services were disrupted by force 10 gales, while in Cumbria an articulated lorry was blown on to its side. Two people had to be rescued by an RAF helicopter after their car was swept into a swollen river in North Yorkshire. Meanwhile in Hull, 300 ferry passengers were left stranded at sea for most of the day, as fears that the vessel could be damaged while docking delayed them disembarking for nine hours.Across the country, around 50,000 people were left without power for parts of the day.
The weather caused excitement among meteorologists, with two scientists from the University of Reading taking to the skies to fly through the cyclone yesterday evening. Dr Laura Baker and Dr John Methven said they believed the UK was witnessing a rare example of a "sting jet cyclone", similar to that which battered Britain in the Great Storm of 1987. Their plan was to drop probes into the clouds to help find out what causes these types of storms.
The number of homes left without power in Perthshire.
Mammoth ivory trade: Should the prehistoric species be protected – to save the elephant?
Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around
Almost every seabird 'will have eaten plastic by 2050' because of ocean pollution
Energy companies more reliant on 'dirty' coal to produce electricity than they were a decade ago
Pope Francis calls for a new system of global government to tackle climate change
- 1 If you're not already angry about the migrant crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 2 David De Gea: Manchester United goalkeeper's £29m move to Real Madrid off - because paperwork 'not done in time'
- 3 Pansexual: What is it - and when did the term gain popularity?
- 4 A Chinese journalist has appeared on state television 'confessing' to causing the stock market chaos
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
UN investigating British Government over human rights abuses caused by IDS welfare reforms
£30 - 38k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a digitally focussed Account Man...
£21000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's leading...
£21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing professional legal pr...
£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This exciting and disruptive co...