Storm Eunice to be 'worse than expected' says forecaster
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This comes after the Met Office issued a rare red warning for wind across the capital. Wind speeds are expected to reach up to 100mph in some areas, with widespread gusts of 60-70mph. The forecaster has warned that the strong winds will bring with it a “danger to life” as a result of flying debris and damage to buildings and homes, including roofs being blown off and power lines brought down.
It also said that roads, bridges and railway lines will be closed, causing delays and cancellations to bus, train, ferry services and flights.
Experts have warned that the conditions could create a dangerous ‘sting jet’ – a narrow, focused region of exceptionally strong and destructive wind.
National Rail has warned of “major disruption” to its networks, with many providers, including Thameslink and East Midlands Railway, telling passengers “not to travel”.
East Midlands Railway told passengers that trains to and from London St Pancras “may be withdrawn at short notice.”
It said: “Do not travel. You should not attempt to travel by rail on Friday 18th February.
“You should complete your journey on Saturday 19th, Sunday 20th or Monday 21st February instead.”
Damage to overhead wires on the service has also caused severe delays between Luton and St Pancras.
The issue is also disrupting trains on the Intercity routes, causing “severe congestion” to build up in the area and preventing trains departing from London St Pancras.
All East Midlands’ trains will also run at reduced speeds today.
Meanwhile, there were mass cancellations on Southeastern Railway trains running from Dartford today.
The Network said: “There’s a large number of cancellations on our Metro routes from Dartford this morning.
“Whilst we are advising against travelling, if you do have to make an essential journey you can use London Buses on all routes between Dartford & Lewisham at no extra cost.”
Dartford Crossing, which connects Kent with Essex, also closed earlier this morning due to the strong winds.
Traffic is now being diverted through the right-hand tunnel, but Kent radio reported that congestion is building up as a result of the closure.
London airports have also been hit by the disruption, with customers flying from Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted being warned of delays and cancellations.
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British Airways cancelled more than 80 flights at London Heathrow and City airports.
This came after chaos unfolded at Euston station last night as passengers attempted to make it out of the capital before the storm hit.
The station told passengers that any tickets for Friday were also valid on Thursday’s trains, as part of an attempt to get people out of London.
The British Transport Police has stationed officers across the network to provide assistance, telling passengers to rethink travel plans.
It said: “Please think before you travel this morning.
“And check before you leave, as a number of train operators are advising people not to travel.
“We have officers out across the network helping those who need to use the network.”
Schools are also shutting across England as the weather bites, including Bristol, Somerset and Swansea.
This comes as Londoners have been advised to “stay at home” amid the severe weather conditions.
Weather forecaster Lucy Verasamy warned that London is at particularly high risk of “danger to life”.
She told Good Morning Britain: “London is one of the most populated cities in the entire world – an 80mph gust of wind can bring down scaffolding, it can bring down cranes.
“And it’s that that can cause fatalities.”
The London Eye and the Royal Botanical Gardens are both shut due to the strong winds.
Richmond, Bushy and Greenwich Parks are also closed.
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