Four killed, trains delayed and planes diverted as storms blow in

Four people have been killed, trains delayed, planes diverted and trees uprooted as severe winds and torrential rain caused chaos and tragedy.

And forecasters warned of a second day of extreme conditions today, with the bad weather continuing over Christmas.

Christmas getaway plans were thrown into disarray as road, rail, air and sea passengers were hit by storms.

In the Midlands, a body was found in a stream in Telford, Shropshire.

A dog walker discovered the body this morning and a police cordon has now been set up around the area in Hortonwood 60, at its junction with Horton Lane.

A 61-year-old woman died after a three-car crash in bad weather near Shrewsbury at about 9.30pm last night.

Police said another two people had died after being caught in rivers

A man’s body was pulled from the River Rothay in Ambleside, Cumbria after he was swept away by fast-moving water.

In Gwynedd, North Wales, a woman died in a river after going out to check the water supply to her house, authorities reported.

The Port of Dover was closed because of winds at speeds of over 50 knots and delays were expected when it reopened.

A flight into Birmingham Airport was forced to turn around and return to Edinburgh because of the weather conditions while four flights destined for Bristol had to land in Birmingham because of difficult conditions in the south west.

In Walsall a 40-foot tree came crashing down in a pub car park, smashing onto a Ford Transit pick-up truck and landing just yards from the building.

Staff at the Green Rock Tavern in Blakenall, Walsall, had a lucky escape when the huge tree narrowly missed the building.

They were shocked to hear a loud bang as the tree fell and landed just yards in front of the premises. It happened at 2.45pm yesterday, and tree experts were called to cut up the wood.

Owner of the Green Rock Lane pub, Harbhajan Kang said: “I am just relieved it didn’t fall towards the pub.

“We have customers walk in that way and it lucky nobody was on the car park.”

The owner of the vehicle, who did not want to be named, said: “I have just spent £700 to get my MOT sorted and then this happens. But I’m just grateful no-one was hurt.” Elsewhere, part of a town centre road was closed yesterday afternoon after roof tiles from a restaurant fell into the street.

Around half-a-dozen ridge tiles came loose from the Fifty 2 restaurant in Chadsmoor at just after 1pm. A section of Cannock Road was closed as firefighters and surveyors assessed the building.

In Walsall residents were plunged into darkness for around an hour-and-a-half following a power cut. A suspected cable fault affected up to 35 households in Brockhurst Crescent at around 9.30 last night.

In Wolverhampton, a road was closed after a tree in West Park collapsed through railings.

The tree fell onto Park Road East near its junction with Devon Road and the area was cordoned off while the damage was repaired.

Meanwhile, an electrical fault caused by the severe weather saw all London Midland services between Birmingham New Street and Rugeley suspended from around 1.20pm, along with some between Birmingham New Street and Walsall.

And flooding in the south west of England delayed trains from Bristol to Manchester Piccadilly station, travelling through Wolverhampton.Forecasters are now warning that the severe weather is likely to continue today and tomorrow, including winds of up to 80mph.

Network Rail is advising passengers to check journey times before setting off.

Robin Gisby, managing director of operational services, said: “It won’t be an easy task given the forecast conditions and disruption is likely – but I want to be very clear that our priority is running as many trains as we can safely, rather than worrying about hitting the timetable bang on.”

More trains had to be cancelled yesterday because of a tree that fell onto wires running over a track in Stone.

Services running between Stone and Rugeley/Trent Valley were diverted through Norton Bridge and Stafford while the tree was being removed and repairs were made.