UK: the day after the storm

UK: the day after the storm
By Ali May
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The high winds that claimed four lives in Britain may have flown away to do their dirty work elsewhere, but the clean-up operation will be here to stay for a while.

Power cuts have been a major problem across southern and eastern England, leaving more than 660,000 properties in the dark. By midday Tuesday, 60,000 properties erre still off supply, according to the Energy Networks Association (ENA).

The work was continuing to reconnect those still suffering, but the main challenge was reaching more rural areas as a result of obstacles, such as fallen trees on roads, Tim Field from the ENA told euronews.

It is hard to tell when everyone will be back on the electricity line. The numbers will come down, but some are still expected to be off supply Tuesday evening, he said.

Rail chaos

Good news is 99 percent of the network is open and services are running normal timetables on Tuesday, according to Network Rail, the company that manages the rail infrastructure in the UK.

That wouldn’t be possible before removing more than 200 tress from blocking railway lines across southern England and repairing overhead power lines. But it doesn’t mean that the trains are running on time.

“Heavy leaf-fall means there are delays as train drivers take care when accelerating and braking to ensure their trains don’t slip and slide in treacherous conditions,” Russell Spink, a spokesperson for Network Rail told euronews. “These conditions mean that, while we do our very best to run as close to a normal service as possible, punctuality is unlikely to be as usual today.”

There are still a number of trees that have not fallen but show risks of doing so which need to be inspected, according to Network Rail. The operation to get the railway network back on working condition required some 500 engineers to work on Monday and overnight.

Statements from network operators including East Coast and First Capital Connect reported near normal service, but warned customers of delays.

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