10 Aug 2014

Ex-Hurricane Bertha sweeps across Britain

The storm remnants of Hurricane Bertha which battered the Caribbean hits the UK, bringing fierce winds, torrential rain and more than a few floods.

The Met Office has issued 34 flood alerts as the remnants of tropical hurricane Bertha sweeps across Britain, lashing rain and fierce winds onto coastal areas and bringing nearly all of August’s monthly rainfall in just a few hours.

Winds gusting at almost 50mph struck Cornwall after the former hurricane that tore through the Caribbean last week and has travelled over the Atlantic to the UK, bringing the threat of floods in its wake.

Torrential downpours fell in Wales, where 31mm of rain fell on the port of Milford Haven in the space of 12 hours – the average rainfall for all of August is 40mm.
Firefighters in mid and west Wales were called to three flooding incidents in St Davids, Pembrokeshire.

The storm conditions have forced the cancellation or led to disruption for a string of festivals and sporting events.

Organisers had to postpone the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland sailing race, which was due to kick off in Cowes on the Isle of Wight today but has been delayed till Monday to allow the stormy weather to subside.

The RideLondon Surrey Classic, which sees more than 20,000 cyclists pedal through rural Surrey before ending on the Mall, was shortened from 100 miles to 86, missing out the Box Hill climb over fears of heavy rain.

The last day of the Boardmasters music and surfing festival in Cornwall has been axed “in light of the extreme weather conditions caused by hurricane Bertha”, organisers said.

Brittany Ferries said it had cancelled its four fast-craft catamaran services between Portsmouth and Le Havre and Cherbourg in France.

The storm was already being felt on Friday evening as floods occurred in several areas and 1,400 homes were left without power.

There are fears sea defences could be breached in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, Bridlington and parts of the north bank of the Humber Estuary due to high winds.