Trains, flights, ferries cancelled as rain and high winds batter U.K., Europe
National weather agency issues 190 emergency flood warnings
Trains, flights and ferries were cancelled and weather warnings issued across the United Kingdom as a storm with hurricane-force winds and heavy rains battered the region on Sunday.
Storm Ciara generated winds gusting to 150 km/h at the northern Welsh village of Aberdaron and 138 km/h at the Welsh town of Capel Curig.
At least 10 rail companies in Britain sent out "do not travel" warnings and nearly 20 others told passengers to expect delays Sunday.
London's Heathrow Airport and several airlines consolidated flights Sunday to reduce the number cancelled by heavy winds.
The storm also brought heavy rains, prompting the U.K. Met Office weather agency to issue 190 emergency flood warnings.
Manchester City's Premier League soccer game against West Ham on Sunday was called off due to the storm battering northern Europe. The announcement was made five hours before the scheduled kickoff in the northern English city of Manchester, with city citing safety concerns due to "extreme and escalating weather conditions."
The storm has led to soccer games in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands also being postponed.
Lufthansa airlines said there would be numerous cancellations and delays beginning Sunday afternoon and running until at least Tuesday morning. The airline plans to keep operating long-haul flights at its main Frankfurt hub. Eurowings, a budget subsidiary of Lufthansa, cancelled most flights for the duration of the storm.
Brussels Airport also saw delays or cancellations.
Too windy for Queen to attend church
Two huge ports on either side of the English Channel, Dover in Britain and Calais in France, shut down operations amid high waves. Ferries were cancelled across the region, including in the turbulent Irish Sea and North Sea.
Breaking with her usual Sunday routine, Queen Elizabeth did not attend church in Sandringham due to high winds.
The Humber Bridge in northern England shut down, a move its website said was only the second time the massive bridge had been entirely closed.
A cow was spotted on a main highway in southern England after high winds blew down fences. Adding to the weather woes, heavy snow was predicted for Monday in some parts of the U.K.
In Ireland, power was knocked out to an estimated 10,000 homes, farms and businesses. National weather agency Met Eireann warned that a combination of high tides, high seas and stormy conditions had created a significant risk of coastal flooding, particularly in the west and northwest.
Fierce winds knocked out electricity in northern France as well. Paris authorities sent out a warning to residents and tourists alike to stay indoors for their own safety. Parks and cemeteries in the city of Lille and nearby towns shut down as strong winds cracked heavy branches. Open-air markets closed early.
Luxembourg and the German city of Cologne announced that all school children could stay home Monday to avoid travelling under dangerous conditions.