Tributes to storm death victims

Friends and colleagues have paid tribute to the four people killed during a violent storm that hit England and Wales.

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Tributes to couple killed in explosion during storm

Friends and colleagues have paid tribute to a couple killed when high winds uprooted a tree during the recent storm, causing an explosion.

Suhail Akhtar, 46, and girlfriend Dorota Kolasinska, 34, were found dead under rubble after their home in Hounslow, west London, was destroyed by a suspected gas mains blast.

The couple were found dead under rubble after their home in Hounslow, west London, was destroyed. Credit: Twitter/@LondonFire

Ms Kolasinska, who had been working for Hackney Council for nine months as a traffic light sequencer, was described as "extremely popular and hard-working".

Sheldon Hawkshaw, a close friend of Mr Akhtar, told the London Evening Standard, "He was a go-to guy. He always had time for everyone. He always made us laugh and will be sorely missed."

Mother of storm death victim 'absolutely devastated'

The mother of a 17-year-old girl killed when a huge tree toppled on to her mobile home as she slept said her family was "absolutely devastated".

Bethany Freeman, nicknamed Gia, as crushed when a 30ft (9m) tree fell down amid high winds in Lydens Lane in Hever, near Edenbridge, Kent.

Bethany Freeman, 17, was killed when a tree toppled on to her mobile home. Credit: Kent Police

In a statement issued through Kent Police, Ms Peirce said: "We are all absolutely devastated at the loss of my daughter. I would like to thank the emergency services for their tremendous efforts in attempting to save her."

She was among four people killed as a storm battered England and Wales, leaving a trail of destruction.


Wind tears giant scaffolding from office in Denmark

A Danish office worker watched in amazement yesterday as strong wind tore a large piece of scaffolding from his building in Copenhagen.

Martin Winholt filmed as the scaffolding took on the appearance of a giant flag flapping in the wind, before collapsing to ground.

Hurricane-force gusts associated with St. Jude crossed the North Sea to Denmark yesterday afternoon leaving a trail of destruction across the southern half of England and Wales.

  1. London

Giant beach ball breaks free during London storm

When the storms hit on Monday morning, drivers in one part of east London were forced to dodge a giant beach ball found rolling around a busy roundabout. A team from the council was sent out to deflate it.

The large beach ball was seen floating around Old Street roundabout on Monday morning Credit: Twitter/@Bern798
The 10 metre high ball was attached to a building nearby Credit: Twitter/@Bern798
A team from Islington Council was sent out to deflate the ball Credit: Twitter/@teamkaroshi

61,000 customers still without power after storm

Some 61,000 homes and businesses are still without power after yesterday's storm, according to Tony Glover of the Energy Networks Association.

Many of the affected customers are in the east of England Credit: Peter Steffen/DPA/Press Association Images

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that more than 80 percent of those without power yesterday have now had electricity restored.

Most of the customers still without power are in the east of England, where the storm was at its strongest.

He said the work to restore power was being hampered by the remoteness of some of the damaged sites.

Five flood warnings and 77 flood alerts still in place

There are currently five flood warnings and 77 flood alerts still in place across England and Wales following the destruction of storm St Jude.

The Environment Agency has issued three flood warnings in the Midlands, one in the Southeast and one in the Southwest.

The Environment Agency's live flood warning map. Credit: The Environment Agency

Flood warnings are issued when flooding is expected and immediate action is required.


It was worst storm to hit southern Britain for years

Rushing in before rush-hour, it tore across coast and countryside, suburbs and city streets, tearing down trees and taking lives.

The worst storm to hit southern Britain for years did its worst. Rail companies withdrew services for safety, but that's not how millions of fare-paying customers saw it. Cancellations prompted accusations of an over reaction.

ITV News Correspondent Martin Geissler reports:

87,000 people without power - down from 500,000

Engineers have restored power to the majority of homes after stormy winds caused extensive damage to power lines.

The latest figures show there are currently 74,000 properties in the East and 13,000 in the South East still without power.

At its peak there were around 500,000 customers without power. UK Power Networks, the distributor, says it has five times the normal number of engineers on duty - some 750 compared to 150 on a usual day.

Four die in the worst storm to hit Britain in years

Four people have died in the worst storm to hit Britain in years, including a man and a woman who were killed when a tree collapsed onto their home and caused a gas explosion.

Two other people also died due to falling trees toppled by the hurricane force winds. The storm first struck the West of England and Wales last night.

ITV News Correspondent Martin Geissler reports from West London:

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