Storm Henk Causes Widespread Disruption Across UK, Thousands Without Power
Storm Henk struck various parts of the United Kingdom on January 2 and 3, 2024, unleashing winds of up to 150 km/h and heavy rainfall. The severe weather led to the closure of major roads and train lines, leaving around 10,000 homes without power. Flood warnings, numbering in the hundreds, have been issued across England, Scotland, and Wales.
Named by the UK Met Office on January 2, 2024, Storm Henk, also designated as Annelie by the Free University of Berlin on the same day, brought the threat of exceptionally strong winds. The Environment Agency issued 333 flood warnings in England, including a severe warning for the River Nene near Northampton, prompting evacuations in affected areas. An additional 361 flood alerts were issued across England, alongside warnings and alerts in Wales and Scotland.
Numerous roads, including sections of the northbound A1, A52 in Nottinghamshire, and A21 in East Sussex, were closed due to standing water, flooding, and safety hazards like fallen trees. Train services in southern England and Wales experienced disruptions, with expected delays and cancellations as the transportation network recovered from the storm's impact.
Notable wind gusts were recorded, with the Isle of Portland in Dorset and Mumbles Head in South Wales experiencing gusts of 114 km/h, Exeter Airport reaching 130 km/h, and the Isle of Wight peaking at 151 km/h.
The Energy Networks Association reported approximately 10,000 customers left without power as a result of Storm Henk.
Looking ahead, a Yellow National Severe Weather Warning for rain is in place for January 4, anticipating 20 to 50 mm of rainfall in specific areas. The UK Health Security Agency has issued a cold weather alert from January 6 to 9, anticipating below-average temperatures and potential hazards such as ice due to the wet conditions. While a shift towards colder, drier weather is expected, it brings its own set of challenges associated with the cold.