Storm Ciara causes travel chaos as thousands of passengers are stranded


Fights broke out at Gatwick Airport and young children were forced to sleep on the floor as airlines axed flights due to Storm Ciara, with more gales and snow set to batter Britain today. 

Commuters faced further havoc this morning, with the aftermath causing widespread disruption during rush hour as Britain’s biggest storm in seven years sweeps north, with winds of 60 to 70 mph are expected in parts of the country.

Passengers at the country’s second largest airport took to social media to complain about lengthy delays, scuffles and children reportedly sleeping on the floor, with holiday firm TUI coming in for criticism.

On Twitter, Joanne Rose, posted a picture holding her son and said: ‘This is after 14 hours being stuck at Gatwick airport with my 4 year old son and my 82 year old mother ! With not one person from your company to help us !!!! Disgusted is an understatement!!! The time is now 23.47.

And Ade Peachey said: ‘Absolutely disgusting service from your front desk at British Airways today. We were left standing for over 3 hours, some fights broke out in the queue which your staff didn’t even bother to get security for. As for your front desk staff, they need to relearn.’ 

The storm, which now threatens to be the ‘worst of the century’, is set to bring strong gales, heavy showers, snow and ice today as a yellow wind warning issued by the Met Office remains.

Train passengers are being advised to check with operators before travelling as there are likely to be some cancellations due to fallen trees, debris and other damage from yesterday. 

There are already numerous reports of rail disruption, including trains on the TransPennine Express between Preston and Edinburgh being suspended due to flooding at Carlisle. 

Driving conditions are also set to be tricky during the chaotic weather, and motorists have been advised to take care in difficult conditions, with closures on the M11, M25 and A21.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled yesterday and Gatwick Airport has already warned there will be some flights on Monday will be subject to delays and cancellations.

Passengers posted an image at Gatwick Airport of lengthy queues, while others complained of scuffles breaking out

Passengers posted an image at Gatwick Airport of lengthy queues, while others complained of scuffles breaking out

Ade Peachey took to Twitter to complain about fights breaking out at Gatwick Airport while waiting in a queue

Ade Peachey took to Twitter to complain about fights breaking out at Gatwick Airport while waiting in a queue

One Twitter user took to social media and criticise TUI, saying their child is having to sleep on the floor due to delays

One Twitter user took to social media and criticise TUI, saying their child is having to sleep on the floor due to delays

Just after midnight Matt Rose posted a video of disgruntled passengers at Gatwick Airport and asked holiday operator TUI to 'sort it out'

Just after midnight Matt Rose posted a video of disgruntled passengers at Gatwick Airport and asked holiday operator TUI to ‘sort it out’  

On Twitter Joanne Rose posted this picture and said: 'this is after 14 hours being stuck at Gatwick airport with my 4 year old son and my 82 year old mother ! With not one person from your company to help us !!!! Disgusted is an understatement!!! The time is now 23.47'

On Twitter Joanne Rose posted this picture and said: ‘this is after 14 hours being stuck at Gatwick airport with my 4 year old son and my 82 year old mother ! With not one person from your company to help us !!!! Disgusted is an understatement!!! The time is now 23.47’

Commuters wait for trains at Euston Station in London, this morning after a number of delays hitting train services

Commuters wait for trains at Euston Station in London, this morning after a number of delays hitting train services

A couple have described how their "whole house shook" after a tree crashed through the roof of their home during Storm Ciara, in Willington Derbyshire

A couple have described how their ‘whole house shook’ after a tree crashed through the roof of their home during Storm Ciara, in Willington Derbyshire

A motorist on Monday morning braving flooded roads in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Drivers have been advised to take care in what will be difficult driving conditions this morning

A motorist on Monday morning braving flooded roads in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Drivers have been advised to take care in what will be difficult driving conditions this morning

Ed Simons from The Chemical Brothers posted a photo on social media of a tree after it landed on a Mini Cooper after Storm Ciara

Ed Simons from The Chemical Brothers posted a photo on social media of a tree after it landed on a Mini Cooper after Storm Ciara

Commuters is London have wrapped up warm to brave the weather conditions this morning. Many people can expect delays on rail services

Commuters is London have wrapped up warm to brave the weather conditions this morning. Many people can expect delays on rail services

Commuters are facing long delays on Monday morning as the West Coast main line is currently blocked by floods, near Caldew, near Carlisle

Commuters are facing long delays on Monday morning as the West Coast main line is currently blocked by floods, near Caldew, near Carlisle

A motorist has miracle escape after car drives into a sinkhole which opens on suburban street in Brentwood, Essex. The massive depression appeared in the early hours of this morning as Storm Ciara raged

A motorist has miracle escape after car drives into a sinkhole which opens on suburban street in Brentwood, Essex. The massive depression appeared in the early hours of this morning as Storm Ciara raged

Snow hits the town of Bathgate in West Lothian, Scotland, as Storm Ciara continues its blustery assault on the British Isles

Snow hits the town of Bathgate in West Lothian, Scotland, as Storm Ciara continues its blustery assault on the British Isles

Floodwater in York this morning after the River Ouse burst its banks in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country Sunday

Floodwater in York this morning after the River Ouse burst its banks in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country Sunday

A flooded Tesco supermarket car park in Carlisle in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country this morning

A flooded Tesco supermarket car park in Carlisle in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country this morning

The weather map from today shows the amber weather warnings in the south of the country and in the north

The weather map from today shows the amber weather warnings in the south of the country and in the north

A car is seen submerged as flood water covers the roads in Mytholmroyd, northern England after the River Calder burst its banks on Sunday

A car is seen submerged as flood water covers the roads in Mytholmroyd, northern England after the River Calder burst its banks on Sunday

Two men look at floodwater in York after the River Ouse burst its banks in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country Sunday

Two men look at floodwater in York after the River Ouse burst its banks in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country Sunday

Huge waves crash into the harbour wall this morning at Porthcawl in South Wales as Storm Ciara continues to batter the UK

Huge waves crash into the harbour wall this morning at Porthcawl in South Wales as Storm Ciara continues to batter the UK

Debris left by flooding litters the road in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country on Sunday

Debris left by flooding litters the road in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country on Sunday

The side of a house has come crashing down in high winds this morning. In Hamilton Circle in Leicester emergency services were called to a collapsed building at 4am today

The side of a house has come crashing down in high winds this morning. In Hamilton Circle in Leicester emergency services were called to a collapsed building at 4am today

A tweet Gatwick Airport’s official Twitter account this morning said: ‘Monday 10 February: As we recover from the impact of Storm Ciara, we expect there to be some knock-on delays and cancellations to flights. 

‘If you are travelling today, we advise you to check the latest information about your flight with your airline.’

British Airways said in a statement there will be a ‘minor knock-on effect’ to Monday’s schedule.

‘We’re getting in touch with those affected, and have brought in extra customer teams to help them with a range of options including a full refund or an alternative flight between now and Thursday,’ the airline said.

‘Any customer flying short-haul to or from Heathrow or Gatwick, can also choose to make changes to their travel plans if they would prefer to fly another time.’

More than 20,000 homes have spent the night without power as the UK continues to reel from Storm Ciara.

As of 5am on Monday, UK Power Networks reported more than 18,500 properties across the east and southeast of England were still without power while Western Power Distribution said more than 2,800 homes were in the dark.

Flooding and debris on rail lines caused delays and cancellations over the weekend as many major stations across the UK shut due to overcrowding, with at least 10 firms issuing a ‘do not travel’ warning. 

Meanwhile, hundreds of flights were grounded – with London’s Heathrow airport the worst affected with more than 400 arrivals and departures axed.  

Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office Frank Saunders said: ‘In the wake of Storm Ciara, it’ll remain unsettled and very windy across the UK and it’ll turn colder with wintry showers and ice an additional hazard, as we head into the new week. 

‘A wind and snow warning is in force for parts of Northern Ireland and Scotland on Monday as well as a further yellow wind warning in the south west of England.’

A tree down on Glenluce Road, in Blackheath, as the effects from Storm Ciara are continued to be felt this morning

A tree down on Glenluce Road, in Blackheath, as the effects from Storm Ciara are continued to be felt this morning

A police cordon blocks a road this morning in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country Sunday

A police cordon blocks a road this morning in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country Sunday

Staff clean up flooding damage this morning at the Co-Op store in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country Sunday

Staff clean up flooding damage this morning at the Co-Op store in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country Sunday

A hole that opened up in the ground in Belfield, Greater Manchester, on Sunday following Storm Ciara

A hole that opened up in the ground in Belfield, Greater Manchester, on Sunday following Storm Ciara

A train  struck a tree and blocked the line on Dorking-Horsham route this morning causing problems from commuters

A train  struck a tree and blocked the line on Dorking-Horsham route this morning causing problems from commuters

Britain is braced for blizzards and up to 20cm of snow in the wake of Storm Ciara which is blasting winds of up to 93mph, with travel chaos set to continue across the country

Britain is braced for blizzards and up to 20cm of snow in the wake of Storm Ciara which is blasting winds of up to 93mph, with travel chaos set to continue across the country

The scene in York this morning after the River Ouse burst its banks in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country Sunday

The scene in York this morning after the River Ouse burst its banks in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country Sunday

The waters of the River Eamont over the top its bank in front of Brougham Castle near Penrith in northwest England this morning

The waters of the River Eamont over the top its bank in front of Brougham Castle near Penrith in northwest England this morning

Workers clear a street in Mytholmroyd, northern England, on February 10, 2020 after flooding brought by Storm Ciara this morning

Workers clear a street in Mytholmroyd, northern England, on February 10, 2020 after flooding brought by Storm Ciara this morning

Airports around the country on Sunday night told travellers to check their flight with their airline due to the continuing bad weather conditions.

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said: ‘While Storm Ciara is clearing away, that doesn’t mean we’re entering a quieter period of weather. It’s going to stay very unsettled.

‘We have got colder air coming through the UK and will be feeling a real drop in temperatures, with an increased risk of snow in northern parts of the UK and likely in Scotland.

‘There could be up to 20cm on Monday and Tuesday and with strong winds, blizzards aren’t out of the question. 

Yesterday parts of the West Yorkshire communities of Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge have been inundated again – four years after record flooding devastated the area.

River levels peaked on Sunday just below the record levels of the 2015 Boxing Day floods, which caused millions of pounds of damage to houses and businesses right along the Calder Valley.

More than ÂŁ30 million has been spent on flood defences in Mytholmroyd since the 2015 deluge, with part of the scheme completed in 2019 and the remainder due to be finished this summer.

Early reports from the village were that some of the new defences held but many homes were still flooded.

At the height of the flooding in the village on Sunday, the floods wardens said on their Facebook page: ‘Please stay at home unless absolutely necessary. There are no passable roads through The Valley.

‘There are no shops open for you to buy things from. And if you think you have a vehicle that is capable of driving through flood water still don’t do it.’

On Monday the wardens said: ‘It’s the morning after and possibly the first time people will get a chance to really take stock of the devastation.’

Flooding affected large sections of the River Calder and River Aire in West Yorkshire.

Further downstream, the main bridge at Elland has been closed for structural assessments after a large shipping container hit it and lodged underneath.

Flood aftermath on the streets of Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, clear their house where the river Calder breached the banks causing damage to the town

Flood aftermath on the streets of Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, clear their house where the river Calder breached the banks causing damage to the town

Floodwater in York after the River Ouse burst its banks in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country on Sunday

Floodwater in York after the River Ouse burst its banks in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country on Sunday

A cycle rack engulfed by floodwater after the River Ouse burst its banks in York in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country Sunday

A cycle rack engulfed by floodwater after the River Ouse burst its banks in York in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country Sunday

The side of a house has come crashing down in high winds this morning. In Hamilton Circle in Leicester emergency services were called to a collapsed building at 4am today

The side of a house has come crashing down in high winds this morning. In Hamilton Circle in Leicester emergency services were called to a collapsed building at 4am today

Martin Slater from the Environment Agency told BBC Radio Leeds: ‘As the rain that fell yesterday moves down the River Aire catchment and the River Calder it will be going through Leeds overnight and today.

‘So we do ask people to remain vigilant and stay away from rivers.’ 

There were 214 flood warnings in place demanding immediate action, with 177 alerts also suggesting that flooding was possible elsewhere.

Drivers faced treacherous conditions with floodwater, fallen trees and other debris closing roads. The M11 was shut in both directions in Cambridgeshire after an airport hangar in Duxford airfield, the location of the largest aviation museum in the UK, was damaged by high winds.

The major motorway caused chaos near Stansted Airport, with traffic queuing for more than a mile after Highways England said the hangar was ‘likely’ to blow onto road.  

Heathrow cancelled 472 flights, with Gatwick axing 333. Elsewhere across the country, Birmingham airport grounded 101, Edinburgh 85 and in Manchester 74 flights were called off.

Planes were being diverted as far as Germany after being unable to land at UK airports due to dangerous weather conditions. A flight from from New York to Gatwick was also diverted to Copenhagen.  

Train providers axed services across swathes of the country, announcing that there would be no journeys at all in certain regions. 

Network rail also imposed a blanket speed restriction of 50mph across the network, warning passengers to only travel if ‘absolutely necessary’. 

British Airways has axed flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City, while Virgin Atlantic have announced a number of scrapped flights.

A plane arriving at Birmingham airport was captured swaying in high winds as the pilot attempted to land amid severe winds conditions. 

Elsewhere, high winds forced a British Airways flight at Heathrow to abort its landing just seconds after touching down on the runway.

Footage posted on social media shows  the plane juddering onto the tarmac before the pilot takes off again. It safely landed after circling the airport.

A BA flight was also forced to make an emergency landing in Lyon after after fuel ‘ran close to reserves’.

More than 200 flood warnings were issued across England on Sunday, with the town of Appleby-in-Westmorland, in Cumbria, severely hit.

The River Irwell burst its banks at Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, while areas including Blackpool, Whalley, Longton and Rossendale, were affected by flooding in Lancashire.

The fastest gusts of 97 miles per hour were recorded on the Isle of Wight on Sunday, with 93 miles per hour winds hitting Aberdaron, a village at the tip of the Llyn Peninsula.

Inland, Manchester Airport recorded gusts of 86 miles per hour, while 178mm of rain fell in Honister Pass, in Cumbria, in the 24 hours to 4pm on Sunday – around one-and-a-half times the average February rainfall of 112mm.

Some 539,000 people experienced a power cut on Sunday with 118,000 left without power by 4pm across the whole of the UK, according to Energy Networks.

Hundreds struggled to get home in London as numerous platforms at London’s Victoria Station were closed after the roof was battered from the wind.  

National Rail issued a warning on Twitter saying: ‘Platforms 1-6 at London Victoria are currently closed until further notice due to damage to the roof.’ 

Commuters at London’s Euston station also faced struggles today as many packed into the station only to be faced with delays.

It was temporarily closed to to overcrowding as photos showed hundreds cramped on platforms, but reopened within half an hour.  

Flooding and debris on rail lines have caused delays and many major stations across the country have been shut due to overcrowding, with many firms issuing a 'do not travel' warning

Flooding and debris on rail lines have caused delays and many major stations across the country have been shut due to overcrowding, with many firms issuing a ‘do not travel’ warning

The train firms which issued ‘do not travel’ warnings were Gatwick Express, Grand Central, Great Northern, Hull Trains, LNER, Northern, Southeastern, Southern, Thameslink and TransPennine Express.

Avanti West Coast said no trains will run north of Preston on Sunday until further notice because of the impact of Storm Ciara, and London Euston Twitter account has warned people not to travel.

The public are being asked to report any fallen trees or debris that could be blown onto tracks, after a trampoline was blown onto train tracks in Chelsfield, south London, and disrupted rail services from the South East into the capital.

In Scotland, officials put in place a 40mph speed limit on the Queensferry Crossing, and ferry services were also cancelled after a weather warning was issued by the Met Office. 

Ferries were also disrupted, as P&O said all services at the Port of Dover were suspended due to strong winds and Mersey Ferries cancelled all services until further notice.    

London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports have the worst hit with disruption, leaving many passengers faced with hours of chaos. 

Elsewhere around the country, flights are disrupted into and out of airports including the Glasgow, Manchester and Liverpool hubs.

Virgin Atlantic has posted a list of cancelled flights on its website. It said it was ‘contacting affected customers and rearranging their travel arrangements’. 

But strong tailwinds as Storm Ciara blew in saw British Airways break the record for the fastest flight by a conventional airliner from New York to London.

The BA112 flight, which took off from John F Kennedy airport, was scheduled to land at Heathrow at 6.25am on Sunday but arrived 102 minutes early at 4.43am.

National Express passengers narrowly escaped death when a falling tree misses them by seconds outside London’s Victoria Station earlier today. 

High winds caused by Storm Ciara sent the tree crashing onto the road directly into the path of the coach. 

Major roads are closing and being rendered unusable as emergency services warns people not to drive through floodwater.

Police are enforcing emergency speed limits in some areas, amid fears of fatal accidents on Britain’s roads should drivers choose to head out.

Concerns over accidents were amplified as a picture surfaced showing a car smashed up and on its side this morning.

There are now 214 flood warnings in place demanding immediate action, with 177 alerts also suggesting that flooding is possible elsewhere. 

Meanwhile, tourists are stranded abroad as delays hit airports on the continent as well as in the UK. Speaking to the MailOnline, one passenger who has been left stranded in Morzine on the border of France and Switzerland, said her flight was cancelled with no word from travel provider easyJet.

Lisa Norton from London had been skiing at the resort and was due to fly home from Geneva on the 9.40pm flight this evening. Whilst on a ski lift she received a notification from the easyJet app stating that her flight had been cancelled.

‘We were supposed to be going home tonight but the soonest they can fly us home is Wednesday and I need to get back for my job and my child. We are going to Geneva and from there we will fly from Paris, where we have had to get a eurostar ticket to London.’

Lisa, who had been on the trip with her twin sister since Wednesday said it has cost her nearly ÂŁ1,000 to make different travel arrangements.

‘We didn’t even get an email. There are a few people here at the resort who are in the same situation, but have decided to stay here until they can get a flight back. The weather has been stunning in France, we knew the storm was coming.’ MailOnline has contacted easyJet.

Flights are delayed arriving and leaving major European cities too, with Frankfurt Airport seeing 21 cancelled departures and a further 116 delays. 



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