LONDON — London commuters faced a second day of disruption Tuesday and thousands of homes remained without power in the wake of southern England’s worst storm in five years.
Commuter operator Greater Anglia advised people not to travel as infrastructure owner Network Rail Ltd. works to repair tracks and overhead wires damaged by falling trees, while First Capital Connect and Southeastern warned of delays.
The Stansted Express route to London’s third-busiest airport is shut until noon, obstructing travel to Ryanair Holdings Plc’s biggest base.
Hurricane-force winds and driving rain swept through the south of England and Wales Monday morning, with at least four people killed in weather-related accidents.
Almost 58,000 homes are still without electricity after more than 550,000 were cut off, U.K. Power Networks said on its website. Some 900 engineers have been deployed to restore power, six times the usual number on duty, and helicopters are continuing checks on remote cables.
“Despite working throughout the night on Monday, Network Rail have found further trees on the lines and damage to overhead wires,” Greater Anglia said on its website, listing six of 13 routes out of London Liverpool Street station, a major hub for workers in the City financial district, as suffering major disruption and three others as impacted to a lesser degree.
Commuter companies to the south of London, where trains are generally powered by a third electric rail rather than overhead cables, were generally less disrupted Tuesday, with Southern Rail and the Gatwick Express airport service running normally.
Still, Stagecoach Plc’s South West Trains, the top operator at London Waterloo station, the busiest in Britain, was affected by damage to signaling equipment caused by falling timber.
More than 100 trees were blown down across lines or wires, according to Network Rail, where Robin Gisby, managing director for operations, said Monday that the impact of the storm had been “more severe than expected.”
Transport for London, which runs the city’s subway or Tube, reported a good service across all its lines, including the Overground network which was largely shut Monday.
Electricite de France SA’s Dungeness B nuclear plant on England’s south coast remains closed after its two reactors automatically shut down when power supplies were cut off by falling debris, and could take a week to restart.
The Met Office said the storm was southern England’s worst since 2008 and the most severe in the fall for 11 years. Winds hit 99 miles per hour on the Isle of Wight and 50 millimeters (2 inches) of rain fell overnight in nearby Hampshire.
© Copyright 2023 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.