February 9, 2020 / 2:38 PM / in 13 days

Storm Ciara batters Britain, hitting flights, trains and soccer

LONDON (Reuters) - Storm Ciara lashed Britain with heavy rain and winds of more than 90 miles an hour (145 km/hour) on Sunday, forcing the cancellations of flights, train services and sports matches.

More than 200 flood warnings were issued across the country by authorities, including one severe warning in Yorkshire, northern England, where water was predicted to overflow flood defenses and potentially threaten lives.

The national meteorological service said it had recorded a maximum wind speed of 93 miles an hour at Aberdaron in Wales, on a day of storm disruption that stretched into northern continental Europe.

The weather caused major disruption to transport across Britain, with some domestic and international flights from airports including Heathrow and Gatwick canceled.

Network Rail, which manages the country’s railways, said there was disruption across its network, with fallen power lines, trees and even trampolines blocking tracks, and warned people not to travel unless they had to.

All shipping movements in and out of the Port of Dover on the south coast were suspended and the Humber Bridge in northern England was closed to all traffic for only the second time since it opened in 1981.

Sporting events were also hit in Britain.

Manchester City said its Premier League soccer match against West Ham had been postponed due to “extreme and escalating weather conditions”, while Scotland’s Women’s Six Nations rugby match against England was among the other matches canceled.

Slideshow (20 Images)

London’s eight royal parks, home to more than 170,000 trees, were closed and even the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, a major tourist draw, was also canceled due to the weather.

In the Netherlands the same storm, Ciara, led to around 120 flights to and from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, one of Europe’s largest, to be axed or delayed as it blew in off the Atlantic. All professional Dutch soccer matches were canceled.

Storm Sabine, meanwhile, forced the cancellation of about 100 flights to and from Frankfurt airport.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Pravin Char

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