UK weather: Thousands face Christmas power cuts as floods dampen the festive spirit

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Emergency evacuations as 130 flood warnings remain across England and Wales, with 50,000 homes still without power

Thousands of people are suffering the misery of a wet Christmas, with 105 flood warnings across England and Wales.

Fifty thousand homes across the UK are still without power today, the Energy Networks Association said, and it is unlikely that any suffering from a power cut will have their power restored until Boxing Day.

Tim Field of the Energy Networks Association said the number of houses without power is now just under 50,000, adding: "It's likely that some people will still be off on Boxing Day. We don't have exact numbers."

Southern Electric said up to 19,500 customers mainly in south Hampshire, Surrey and West Sussex, could remain without power overnight.

With many families' turkey dinner ruined, major power company UK Power Networks has now offered to pay for Christmas meals in local pubs or restaurants for people whose supplies remain cut off.

The Environment Agency has decreased the number of severe flood warnings from three to two, and they are both in the South West - at Beaulieu Garden Park Home Site and Iford Bridge Home Park, where evacuations have already taken place.

There are 102 flood warnings and 200 flood alerts. There are more than ten flood warnings in place across mainland Scotland.

Firefighters broke their strike in parts of England because of the storms.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union in Surrey and Kent were recalled to duty under the terms of an agreement between the union, the employers and the Government.

Around 90 people are being evacuated from their homes on the River Stour near Bournemouth.Police began evacuating residents of the Ilford Bridge Home Park shortly after 3am following a severe flood warning from the Environment Agency.

Around 150 properties were hit by flooding in Surrey and Kent

 

They were being taken to the Boscombe Day Centre in Owl Road, Boscombe, Dorset Police said.

Officers have been monitoring the levels of the River Stour closely for the last 24 hours and people living in the threatened areas were warned of the possibility of flooding and evacuation.

Police described the efforts the rescue effort as a “ multi-agency operation”, and advised people who have concerns about flooding to contact the Environment Agency (EA).

Emergency services are also making ready to evacuate people from the Beaulieu Garden Park Home in Christchurch, Dorset, after the EA issued another severe flood warning - warning of danger to life - at 5.40am, the third such alert in place. The alert remains in place.

The Coastguard rescued 76 people from a caravan park that was flooded by the River Medway at Yalding in Kent last night.

The flooding will leave Christmas cancelled for many people. Gary Button, manager of the Old Mill Hotel in Batheaston near Bath, told the BBC he had to cancel more than 50 Christmas dinners after the River Avon flooded the property.

The EA this morning had almost 130 flood warnings across England and Wales, mainly in the South East, the South West and the Midlands. A further 226 flood alerts were also in place, with 90 in the South East alone.

The wet Christmas comes after days of travel chaos - with five deaths linked to the gale force winds and rain over the past few days.

Many travellers had problems reaching their destination. At Gatwick Airport, several thousands were stranded throughout the day, after flooding caused a power outage and closed the entire north terminal. The airport however said that the problems were solved for Christmas Day travellers. Airline easyJet said it would be operating a limited number of flights from Gatwick Airport today to replace ones that should have operated yesterday.

These include flights to Faro, Basle, Malaga, Alicante and Amman, while passengers from a cancelled flight from Gibraltar to Gatwick will be travelling on one from Malaga today.

A round-up of the key incidents and disruptions over the past few days:

* A man died on Tuesday after he jumped into a fast-flowing river in Devon to rescue his dog.

* A woman died and a man was seriously hurt in a car crash in Shropshire in “difficult weather conditions”.

* A woman was swept to her death in a small stream just metres from her home in Wales and a man died in a rain-swollen river in Cumbria on Monday.

*A fifth person died on Sunday night in a multiple car collision in Cornwall during a hail storm.

* Across the channel, violent winds delayed international flights in and out of Paris and left a 12-year-old boy crushed to death beneath construction materials in Normandy.

Additional reporting: PA

This player is used within article copy as first element. Default size is 630w but FC code uses it for 460w article layout.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
beauty
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
transfers
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
News
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
tv
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

JavaScript Developer (Angular, Web Forms, HTML5, Ext JS,CSS3)

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: JavaScript Dev...

BC2

£50000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

SAP Data Migration Consultant

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a FTSE 100 organisation are u...

Programme Support, Coms, Bristol, £300-350p/d

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice