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A man is being rescued by helicopter during a 2018 storm in White Rock, BC, which destroyed the iconic wooden pier as moored boats came loose and smashed against the woodwork. Photo: Public Domain
21 Feb 2022

Franklin third hurricane in five days to hit Europe

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While Storms Dudley and Eunice had barely subsided from last week, Storm Franklin hit Northern Europe with almost the same ferocity on Sunday and Monday. While Storm Eunice already killed 14 people, another 2 casualties can now be added.   

Storm Franklin came in from the North Atlantic on Sunday afternoon while cleanup crews were still working to clear fallen trees and restore power to thousands of customers hit by storms Dudley and Eunice last week.

In France, a couple in their 70s died on Sunday when  their car was swept into the English Channel in Normandy. 

Wind gusts of up to 140 km/h(87 mph)  were recorded late on Sunday on the Isle of Wight. A gust of 196 km/h, which is  the highest recorded in England, was measured Friday on the Isle of Wight when Storm n. Hurricane-level winds are usually considered to start at 119 km/h.

Official weather warnings in Antonia, Germany were lifted on Monday, although disruption to transport  continued in northern parts of the country.

 

Expensive damage - and environmental devastation

Experts said the storms has caused extensive damage to the environment as well. The German Aerospace Center, DLR, says the storms will likely result in damage to forests across the region. According to a study released Monday,  trees already weakened by droughts and insect infestations will now likely need to be removed from forests in Northern Germany and across the region.  

Insurance broker Aon estimated the insured damage in Germany from the three storms  to 1.6 billion euros .

The Dutch insurers' association estimated that the three storms will cost at least  500 million euros of damage in the Netherlands.

 

The third storm in less than a week

Storm Eunice hit Europe towards the end of the week with gusts of almost 200 km/h.  Deaths were reported on Friday in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Ireland and the UK, according to the BBC.

The storms blew roofs off buildings and uprooted trees across the Netherlands. Four people were killed there on Friday. 

Millions of homes were reported without power and transport networks have also been damaged. On Saturday as the storm subsided, 400 000 households were still affected in the UK and almost 200 000 in Poland.  AFP reports as many as one million customers were without power at one point. 

In the North Sea, the Dutch coastguard allegedly is trying to locate 26 empty shipping containers which have been lost on the water.  

According to multiple media sources, winds have been extreme: The worst gusts of 120 mph / 200 kmph / 55 mps were recorded on Friday.

Three people were killed while travelling on roads in the UK, and another person was hit by a tree in Ireland.

Four more people were killed in Poland.

In France, 30 people were injured in road accidents related to the storm.    

 

Large economic damages on top of tragic deaths

Ferries across the English Channel were suspended, before the  port of Dover reopened on Friday afternoon.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled at airports including Heathrow and Schiphol. 

According to UK meteorology researcher Liz Bentley,  Storm  Eunice will be in future history books due to the extreme intensity and effects on vital infrastructure. Besides terrible losses in human lives - storms like these are expensive: In the UK alone, the economic damages from Eunice are estimated to land around 300 million pounds.  

 

Photo (Above) A man is being rescued by helicopter during a 2018 storm in White Rock, BC, which destroyed the iconic wooden pier as moored boats came loose and smashed against the woodwork. Photo: Public Domain