Storm Eunice knocks out power and disrupts travel across Europe

(Bloomberg) – Storm Eunice continued to wreak havoc across Europe on Saturday, with at least 12 people reportedly killed, thousands of homes still without power and continued disruption to travel.

Bloomberg’s Most Read

In northern France and Normandy, 37,000 properties remained without power as of 11 a.m. local time on Saturday, according to grid operator Enedis, and around 1,000 technicians were working to remedy the situation. In the UK, nearly 200,000 people are without power for more than a day after the strongest storms in decades hit the country early on Friday and train travel is still disrupted.

Eunice, as it is known in the UK, brought strong winds which downed trees and damaged buildings across much of the country and also battered mainland Europe. A gust of 122 miles (196 kilometres) per hour on the Isle of Wight set a provisional record for the highest wind speed ever recorded in England, the weather service said.

Read more Heathrow’s YouTube channel attracts 200,000 people who watch Scary Landings

The storm ripped off part of the dome of London’s O2 Arena and thousands of people watched a live broadcast of planes struggling to land in high winds at the city’s Heathrow airport on Friday. Insurance costs from the storm could reach between 200 and 350 million pounds ($272 and $475 million), Mohammad Khan, head of general insurance at PwC UK, told the BBC on Saturday.

In Germany, where the storm is called Zeynep, the national maritime agency has issued a warning for the national North Sea coast, predicting waves of up to 2 meters. A 270-year-old windmill in eastern Germany has collapsed, according to a local media report.

Rail operator Deutsche Bahn AG said on Saturday afternoon that “massive” disruptions were underway in the north of the country. The state-owned company said more than 1,000 kilometers of the country’s rail network has been damaged and 2,000 people are working to help resume services. Nevertheless, the disturbances will continue until Monday afternoon.

Rail traffic is gradually returning to normal on Saturday afternoon in northern France, after several train lines were damaged, according to SNCF. Météo France warns of strong coastal winds from the tip of Brittany in northern France which could last until 10 p.m. local time and start again from 7 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Victims of the storm

At least 12 people across the continent have been killed, AP reported, many from falling trees. Three people have died in the UK, all in vehicles overturned by trees or debris, while in Belgium a 79-year-old man drowned after falling from his pleasure boat in the port of Ypres , reported Le Soir.

In Germany, three people died, according to the DPA news agency, including a 17-year-old who was the victim of a car accident linked to the storm. A 68-year-old man on the North Sea coast fell through a damaged roof he was trying to repair, and a 56-year-old crashed into a fallen tree near the Dutch border. Winds in the country on Friday evening were measured at 143 kilometers (89 miles) per hour.

(Updates with the latest storm damage details starting in the second paragraph.)

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Most Read

©2022 Bloomberg LP

Mary I. Bruner