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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Lydia Chantler-Hicks

London hit with fresh weather warning after Storm Henk brings travel disruption

A fresh yellow weather warning has been issued for London and the south of England, as they are set to be battered by heavy rain.

It comes after Storm Henk brought 69mph winds to the capital on Tuesday night, bringing disruption to thousands of commuters as they journeyed home.

The chaos continued for many on Wednesday morning, as train services were still disrupted.

Various routes on the Southern, Gatwick Express, Great Northern and Thameslink networks were affected on Wednesday following the severe weather.

The services were back to normal by midday on Wednesday, according to National Rail.

Greater Anglia was on Wednesday still experiencing “severe disruption", with “do not travel” warnings in place on routes in Norwich, Colchester, Peterborough and Cambridge. It later said all lines had reopened.

Meanwhile, South Western Railway said disruption linked to the storm would likely continue throughout the day.

“We are very sorry for the disruption customers experienced yesterday, due to the serious and widespread impact of Storm Henk," said SWR chief operating officer Stuart Meek and Network Rail interim route director for Wessex, Matt Pocock.

“The severe winds led to trees on the line damaging or delaying trains in multiple locations across our network."Meanwhile no trains are running between Richmond and Willesden Junction until the end of the day, while urgent repairs are carried out on the track at Gunnersbury.

Great Western Railway said on Wednesday flooding due to Storm Henk had also blocked several parts of its network.

Scaffolding was blown over during stormy weather in Greenwich (Robbie Smith/Evening Standard)

Flooding near Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire meant all lines were closed between Swindon and Bristol Parkway.

Services between London Paddington and South Wales are being diverted, adding around 40 minutes to journey times.

A new yellow rain warning has been issued for London and the south of England on Thursday between midday and 3pm, and between the same hours on Friday.

The Met Office has warned that another spell of rain could cause further flooding, travel disruption and possible power cuts.

There is a chance that up to 50mm of rain could fall in some places on Thursday.

A fallen tree in Forest Hill, south-east London (PA)

It comes after a large swathe of England, including London, was under a yellow weather warning on Tuesday as Storm Henk brought gusts of us to 94mph to the UK.Scaffolding was torn from buildings on Tuesday night as the storm battered London with high winds, while a woman in Orpington was taken to hospital after being hit by a falling tree, and photos showed cars hit by trees in south-east London.

Police, paramedics and the fire service were called to Station Approach in Orpington around 3.15pm on Tuesday, after a woman was struck by a tree. She was taken to hospital, said the Met Police, but her injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Footage posted online showed scaffolding being blown off the front of a building in Sutton.

Heavy winds also ripped down a large panel of scaffolding in Greenwich, landing in Creek Road.

(Environment Agency)

Marketing manager Josh Hargreaves, 30, said he and his boyfriend had watched the scaffolding “pretty much swaying in the wind” before falling from the front of the building around 3.40pm.

An hour later, more scaffolding fell from the back of the building.

Photos showed a car crushed by the trunk of a fall tree in Forest Hill, and another car covered crushed by a tree in Bromley.

In Gloucestershire, a driver in his 50s was killed on Tuesday when a tree fell on the car he was driving, during strong winds.

Scaffolding that fell off the front of a building in Creek Road, Greenwich (PA)

In Birmingham, a driver and a young child had to be saved from their car when it got stuck in flooding following heavy rain.

The driver, who has not been named, managed to secure the vehicle against a bridge to prevent it from being washed away.

Then, a brave “local hero” decided to enter the water to help them escape. Police have since praised the rescuer's bravery.

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service was called out to The Ford in Kenilworth to rescue a motorist who got stuck trying to drive through flood water.

The Environment Agency said there were 368 active alerts in England for possible flooding, 322 flood warnings, meaning flooding is expected and, in Northampton, one danger to life severe flood warning.

A tree blown over by the wind and landed on a car on Beckenham Grove, Bromley (PA)

In Wales there was one severe flood warning, 15 flood warnings and 39 flood alerts, according to Natural Resources Wales.

The strongest gales were recorded at the Needles Old Battery in the Isle of Wight, where wind speeds reached 94mph.

Gusts of 81mph were reached at Exeter Airport in Devon, and top winds hit 71mph at the Isle of Portland in Dorset and also at Mumbles Head in Glamorgan.

The Energy Networks Association – which collates data from all energy providers – estimated that 38,000 customers were without power as a direct result of storm damage, as of 7pm on Tuesday.

A driver and child were rescued from a car in floods in Birmingham (West Midlands Police)

Stefan Laeger, the Environment Agency’s flood duty manager, said that the heavy rainfall means “significant local flooding” on the River Nene, in the east of England, is “probable” until Thursday.

He said: “Recent and ongoing heavy rain is falling on already very wet ground and could see some riverside locations across England flood until Thursday, while surface water flooding is also possible at times during the next five days in parts of the country.

“Environment Agency teams will be out on the ground, working to minimise the impacts of flooding where possible. We advise people to stay away from swollen rivers and urge people not to drive through flood water as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move car.”

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