London’s Thames barrier is being closed today for the 180th time in its 36 year history due to a tidal surge caused by storm Eleanor passing over the UK.
The barrier was closed as of 10.15 this morning after forecasts overnight predicted a tidal surge caused by the storm that was expected to coincide with the high tide.
The storm which has had wind gusts of up to 145kmph on Northern Island’s eastern coast at Orlock Head and 117kmph recorded at Northolt just outside of London, is expected to ease during the day, but a yellow warning from the Met Office – meaning there is still a reasonable chance of being impacted by the storm – remains in place.
Around the country, National Rail said the West of England line had been disrupted by fallen foliage between Dean and Mottisfont & Dunbridge and the Anglia Route was currently affected by several trees blown onto the line.
“The safety of our passengers and workforce is our top priority and we will continue to monitor the weather conditions closely,” a Network Rail spokesperson said. “We have specialist teams ready to deploy quickly to deal with any issues caused by the storm.”
In Cornwall, around a 12m section of the harbour wall has also collapsed and on Oxford Street in London, fire crewes were called to make safe 12m by 15m sheeting which had fallen from scaffolding.
At the storm’s height ESB, Ireland’s electricity provider, said around 150,000 homes and businesses were left without power, predominantly in counties Mayo, Leitrim, Sligo, Galway, Cavan and Monaghan. However, 400 faults had been repaired leaving 27,000 customers without power. Galway on Ireland’s western coast was also hit by severe flooding causing damage to homes and businesses.