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[13 DEC 00] RAILTRACK NEWS
Terrible Weather Lashes The Area
BY ANTONY HOPKER

High winds and lashing rain caused destruction and chaos in Coventry and Warwickshire last night.

Gusts of up to 60 mph set burglar alarms off all over the area and caused trees to fall down.

The biggest problem of the night came on the trains when power lines were blown down on the West Cost mainline just over the Northamptonshire border.

Contractors tried to deal with the damage, but were beaten back by the winds.

Michelle Conaboy from Railtrack said a stretch covering a quarter of a mile had been damaged.

Services to and from London were being reduced today as engineers battled to carry out repairs, and there is the risk that the line might have to be closed.

Virgin trains have been cut back to one an hour, while Silverlink services are only running between Milton Keynes and London, with a bus services taking passengers to Coventry and Rugby.

The environment agency increased the number of severe flood warnings in the Midlands. The Severn is worst affected, but there is also concern about the levels of the Leam and the Avon.

Police in Warwickshire said there were a lot of weather-related calls, but no reports of people being injured or crashes being caused by the poor conditions.

Newbold Street in Leamington was closed last night after a plank blew off scaffolding at the Newbold Tavern pub at 10.30pm.

It smashed a car window and police closed the road in case any more debris fell into the street.
 

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CWN / Business / A-Z / Railtrack / 13 Dec 00

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