The Heat Is Online

UK Battered by 90 mph Windstorms

Britain lashed by storms, Feb,. 26, 2002

LONDON, England -- Heavy rain and winds of more than 90 mph (140 kph) swept across Britain on Monday night, overturning vehicles, felling trees, and causing the closure of key bridges.

The Environment Agency on Tuesday issed flood warnings for 82 areas throughout England and Wales.

The Dartford Bridge over the Thames on the M25 orbital road around London was closed because of the high winds, and traffic was routed through tunnels, AA Roadwatch said.

Parts of the M60 orbital around Manchester was closed on Tuesday morning because of high winds and an overturned truck, police said.

The westbound Severn River crossing was closed overnight after a truck overturned.

Winds of up to 60 mph (95 kph) are expected to continue in Eastern England.

The bad weather will extend eastwards in the next couple of days and is likely to affect other parts of the norther Europe, CNN Weather Anchor Jenny Harrison said.

Agricultural fields and low-lying farmland in the UK were at most risk for flooding, an Environment Agency spokesman said.

There were flood warnings covering 27 rivers in the English midlands and 36 in Wales. The remaining 19 were covering other areas in England.

The Environment Agency is urging people to stay alert to the risk of increased flooding, to keep up to date with the latest flood information and to take the necessary action to protect themselves, their property and their livestock if warnings are issued, a spokesman told The Associated Press.

The heavy winds forced authorities to close several main roads across the country and Dyfed Powys Police said the mid Wales town of Welshpool was cut off by floods and fallen trees.

Some of the main roads in the area have been closed because of flood water and fallen trees. We do not have a clear picture of the smaller roads because there is so much to deal with, a police spokesman said.

Tuesday mornings unofficial storm readings showed that the Needles on the Isle of Wight was hit by winds of 95 mph (130 kph).

The highest confirmed recording of 84 mph (120 kph) was detected in Mumbles, near Swansea in Wales.

In late January this year at least seven people died when stormy weather conditions swept northern Britain and Ireland.