Chaos in travel plans for Christmas as Storm Pia makes landfall European Star

Christmas travel misery has been unleashed by Storm Pia, as high winds and significant train line closures have forced huge cancellations across the UK and forced the Eurotunnel to close due to an unexpected French strike.

A fallen tree near Doncaster also stopped traffic on the East Coast Main Line to Edinburgh, and damage to overhead wires between Watford and Milton Keynes delayed the main route to Manchester, causing chaotic scenes at London’s Euston and Kings Cross.

While tens of thousands of passengers were unable to travel on 30 Eurostar trains from London, Paris, and Brussels due to a shocking French strike at the Eurotunnel, British Airways had to cancel numerous of journeys between domestic as well as international places in Europe and the United States at Heathrow Airport.

For the thousands of passengers planning to spend Christmas in France, Belgium, or anywhere else, the news of the Eurostar cancellations is not good.

There are a lot of people booked on Eurostar for the next few days, so it might be hard to find room for everybody who needs to travel.

“No Channel Tunnel crossing have been put in place since midday due to a last-minute strike by Eurotunnel staff,” a Eurostar representative stated.

Sadly, this implies that until the end of the day, 30 Eurostar trains from London, Paris, or Brussels have been canceled.

Beginning at 19.00 UK/20.00 CET, passengers booked for travel tomorrow will get immediate information from Eurostar regarding any changes to the service.

The statement went on, “Customers who were impacted today were contacted directly regarding their trip and given the choice to exchange their tickets for free or get a refund.”

On Thursday, weather warnings were issued for large portions of the United Kingdom due to wind gusts reaching 115 mph in the Scottish Highlands and 80 mph in other parts of Scotland and northern England.

Many Sheffield homes had their roofs torn off, and the nation’s trees were uprooted, sending one guy to the hospital with injuries that appear to be non-life-threatening after it landed on his car on the A515 in Derbyshire.

In addition to workers trying to remove a tree that had fallen on a house in the village of Stanley, highways in Derbyshire were stopped. To the south, a fallen tree had obstructed the train route connecting Ascot, Berkshire, and Bagshot, Surrey.

Additionally, according to Northern Powergrid, engineers were attempting to restore electricity to over 40,000 houses affected by outages in the North East, Yorkshire, and Lincolnshire; as of 4 p.m., thousands of households were without power.

On Thursday morning, the UK’s wind turbines produced a record 21.8 gigawatts of electricity in thirty minutes, providing 56% of the nation’s grid power.

However, the wind on Thursday had many batten down the hatches; Shetland schools were shuttered, and Christmas markets in Sheffield and Liverpool were closed as well.

A trampoline blew onto the tracks, disrupting trains between Edinburgh and Glasgow. The East and West Coast Main Lines were down for hours, which affected hundreds of people who were traveling between London, Manchester, and Edinburgh for Christmas.

Avanti West Coast issued a warning during rush hour in the evening of additional cancellations and delays shortly after the lines were restored to service. The reason for the line’s closure was an object that got entangled in the overhead power wires between Stockport and Macclesfield.

While a fresh weather alert for snow and ice throughout Shetland into the weekend, with potential accumulations of 2–5 cm of snow, was issued at 3 pm, the yellow warning for wind, which stretched north from Birmingham to the Shetland Islands and included Northern Ireland, terminated at that time.

The impacted areas, which extend as far south as Aviemore, are alerted to the possibility of icy patches developing on untreated pavement and roads between Friday and Saturday. This might result in accidents from slips and falls and cause traffic disruptions.

The Danish Met Institute dubbed Storm Pia, and according to a statement from the Met Office, it is slowly making its way towards continental Europe, where its effects are predicted to be more severe.

On Thursday afternoon, the winds are predicted to lessen in many parts of the UK, however the west is still expected to see rainy conditions.

The Met Office added that during the weekend, there will likely be more “unsettled” weather and a chance of a White Christmas, which is defined as one snowflake landing on Christmas Day, especially over high ground in Scotland’s far north.

“It’s going to be an especially wet saturday in the west and north, with breezy conditions for many,” stated Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Dave Hayter.

Although there will usually be more rain in the areas further south, there may occasionally be brief showers that extend into the South West and more consistent rain for Wales on Sunday. Christmas Day forecasts for the North West and Northern Ireland point to more of the same unsettling, mostly showery weather.

Even though the central and southern regions can have a wet start to the day, by the evening the rain should have moved into the English Channel.

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