London : Hurricane-force winds from an Atlantic storm left tens of thousands of Britons without power and one man dead, adding to the misery after devastating floods caused by the wettest winter in 250 years.
Around 80,000 households remain without electricity, with Wales the worst affected by the “Wild Wednesday” storms, although the figure was reduced from some 150,000 overnight as electricity workers battled to reconnect people.
The latest problems pile pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron’s government, which has faced criticism for being slow to help people in flood-hit areas. “We have seen some pretty horrendous conditions,” said Tim Field of the Energy Networks Association, which represents energy companies, adding that they were trying to get people back on line as fast as possible. Britain also faces an economic battering after Bank of England governor Mark Carney said the fragile recovery from recession would be affected as the bad weather hits farming and
“There’s a big human cost here and I absolutely recognise that,” he told ITV News.
“Then there’s the disruption to economic activity that we see just through transport, but farming clearly will be affected for some time, other businesses. “It is something that will affect the near-time outlook.”
Major General Patrick Sanders, who is co-ordinating the armed forces response that has seen hundreds of troops on the streets, called the conditions an “almost unparalleled natural crisis”.