Storm Eunice Batters the UK
Large waves and strong winds hit during Storm Eunice, in Porthleven, Cornwall, Britain, February 18, 2022. REUTERS/Tom Nicholson

Home ยป SA Expat Describes Terrifying Flight as Storm Eunice Batters the UK

SA Expat Describes Terrifying Flight as Storm Eunice Batters the UK

A South African expat who was flying from Paris to London on Friday morning described the terrifying ordeal she and the other passengers endured as Storm Eunice battered the capital city and other parts of the UK, sadly killing at least nine people. “We took off fine from Paris, but once we got near Luton […]

19-02-22 16:52
Storm Eunice Batters the UK
Large waves and strong winds hit during Storm Eunice, in Porthleven, Cornwall, Britain, February 18, 2022. REUTERS/Tom Nicholson

A South African expat who was flying from Paris to London on Friday morning described the terrifying ordeal she and the other passengers endured as Storm Eunice battered the capital city and other parts of the UK, sadly killing at least nine people.

Storm Eunice Batters the UK
Large waves and strong winds hit during Storm Eunice, in Porthleven, Cornwall, Britain, February 18, 2022. REUTERS/Tom Nicholson

“We took off fine from Paris, but once we got near Luton Airport (London) and were preparing to land, chaos hit. It was worse than turbulence. It was a sensation of just being in a plane that had no control as we were blown around by the wind,” Tara P says. Footage has gone viral of planes above Heathrow also being tossed around in the air by Eunice.

“There were people on the plane vomiting, others were taking calming tablets, some had Xanax. I’ve never felt so scared. It was the single worst experience of my life, and as I was travelling alone I had nobody to hold onto. I put my arm around the seat divider to hold on as tight as I could so I wasn’t bounced around too much, and it felt a little comforting feeling the arm of the passenger next to me. It felt like we were holding on for our lives.

“The airline crew remained seated throughout. It was too dangerous for them to stand up. They told us all to read the Safety Card properly, to make note of where our closest emergency exits were, and to prepare for an emergency landing back in Paris. Yes – our plane turned back! After going through all that, we ended up back where we started.” Tara will be catching a Eurostar train to London instead! (See live footage below from Heathrow Airport.)

WATCH Planes trying to land at Heathrow Airport during Storm Eunice

Storm Eunice Batters Britain, Killing At Least 9… by Paul Sandle and Muvija M

LONDON (Reuters) – The Atlantic storm battered northwestern European on Friday with record winds of up to 122 miles per hour, killing at least nine people, knocking out power for tens of thousands and shredding the roof of London’s O2 arena.

Storm Eunice, which brewed in the central Atlantic and was spun up from the Azores towards Europe by the jet stream, posed a danger to life, Britain’s Meteorological Office said.

The storm hit western England, making landfall in Cornwall, where waves lashed the coast, sending plumes of spray over the roofs of cottages, Reuters pictures showed

Storm Eunice in Brighton
People take pictures as waves break on during Storm Eunice, in Brighton, Britain, February 18, 2022. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Storm Eunice in Brighton
People watch as waves break on during Storm Eunice, in Brighton, Britain, February 18, 2022. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

A woman was killed in London when a car in which she was travelling was crushed by a tree and a man in a vehicle in Liverpool died due to flying debris. Another man died after a vehicle collided with a fallen tree in the southern English county of Hampshire.

In the Netherlands, four people were killed by toppled trees. In Belgium, high winds brought a crane down onto the roof of a hospital and a British man died after being blown from his boat into the water.

A man died in Ireland after being struck by a falling tree while clearing storm debris, RTE reported.

High winds in London shredded the white domed roof of the O2 arena which has hosted stars from The Rolling Stones to Beyonce and Rihanna. Tall buildings in London trembled as wind whistled through Canary Wharf.

Storm Eunice in London
The white-domed roof of the O2 arena is seen damaged by the wind, as a red weather warning was issued due to Storm Eunice, in London, Britain, February 18, 2022. REUTERS/May James
Storm Eunice in London
The white-domed roof of the O2 arena is seen damaged by the wind, as a red weather warning was issued due to Storm Eunice, in London, Britain, February 18, 2022. REUTERS/May James
Storm Eunice Batters the UK
The white-domed roof of the O2 arena is seen damaged by the wind, as a red weather warning was issued due to Storm Eunice, in London, Britain, February 18, 2022. REUTERS/May James
Storm Eunice in London
A woman walks past a fallen tree on a side street in Fulham during Storm Eunice, in London, Britain, February 18, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs

In Wales, waves crashed over Aberystwyth promenade, some as high as houses. More than 100,000 people were hit by power cuts as lines were torn down and ancient trees keeled over.

“Storm Eunice is really packing a punch,” Met Office Chief Meteorologist Frank Saunders said. “We only issue red weather warnings when we think there is a threat to life from the weather.”

The Met Office said a gust of 122 mph (196 kph) was recorded at The Needles on the Isle of Wight, provisionally a record for the most powerful gust ever recorded in England.

Later on Friday, the Met Office said the fiercest winds from the storm were heading towards Scandinavia and northern mainland Europe where warnings had been issued.

Planes were buffeted so strongly by gusts at some British airports that pilots were forced to abandon landings. A live stream of Heathrow Airport’s runway was being watched by more than 200,000 people online.

A total of 436 flights were cancelled across the United Kingdom amid record winds from storm Eunice, according to Cirium data.

Storm Eunice Batters the UK
People walk at the sea front during Storm Eunice, in Brighton, Britain, February 18, 2022. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

TROOPS ON STANDBY

More than 100,000 buildings were left without power, distributors said. Ferries and trains were cancelled.

“Storm Eunice – There will be NO Transport for Wales trains running on this date,” an announcement board said at Aberystwyth station. All trains in Kent, southern England, were cancelled.

“We are closing all routes in Kent, and all lines in SE London are blocked by trees,” Network Rail Kent & Sussex said. “Please do not travel.”

BA said it was cancelling a number of flights and that there would be significant disruption.

Danish ferry operator DFDS said in a statement posted on Twitter that its ferries between Dover and Calais have been suspended due to high winds.

In the Netherlands, Schiphol airport cancelled about 390 flights, a spokesperson said.

Storm Eunice Batters the UK
Photographers take pictures as large waves and strong winds hit during Storm Eunice, in Porthleven, Cornwall, Britain, February 18, 2022. REUTERS/Tom Nicholson

Off the Belgian coast, two ships, one tanker and one cargo, were at one point adrift and got stuck in a windfarm. The cargo was safely towed away, without causing any damage, the tanker, carrying 31,000 tons of fuel, was still waiting for help.

Britain’s security minister, Damian Hinds, said troops were on standby to deal with the consequences of the weather.

“We should all follow the advice and take precautions to keep safe,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. “I thank responders for all their efforts.”

(Writing by Jenni Baxter / SAPeople and Guy Faulconbridge and William Schomberg; Additional reporting by Carl Recine in Aberystwyth, Wales, Tom Nicholson in Porthleven, Cornwall, William Schomberg in London, Benoit Van Overstraeten in Paris and Stephanie van den Berg in The Hague; Editing by Kate Holton, Barbara Lewis, Andrew Heavens and Diane Craft)

WATCH STORM EUNICE VIDEOS