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High Winds Batter Britain, France; Some Flights Diverted

  • Associated Press

FILE - The hair of a woman is blown by the wind on a blustery day in London, Dec. 30, 2015. Heavy rains and gusty winds are causing more problems for residents in large swaths of Britain. Some flights at London's Gatwick and Heathrow airports have been diverted due to high winds battering much of Britain and western France.

FILE - The hair of a woman is blown by the wind on a blustery day in London, Dec. 30, 2015. Heavy rains and gusty winds are causing more problems for residents in large swaths of Britain. Some flights at London's Gatwick and Heathrow airports have been diverted due to high winds battering much of Britain and western France.

Some flights at London's Gatwick and Heathrow airports have been diverted due to high winds battering much of Britain and western France.

The high winds from Storm Katie caused 87 cancellations and 43 diversions at Gatwick and Heathrow because flights had trouble landing safely.

Passengers tweeted about "scary'' aborted landings and being diverted to other English cities.

Gatwick also reported some problems on the road leading to the North Terminal and both airports advised passengers to check the status of their flights before traveling to the airport.

More than 19,000 homes in Britain have been left without power as winds of up to 106 mph (170 kph) hit parts of the country. The Met Office forecasting service warned of potential heavy flooding across southwestern England and issued 136 flood alerts.

Several highway bridges were closed as a precaution. Wind warnings were issued for London and parts of southeastern England. There was heavy rain in parts of northern England and Wales.

In Brittany, in western France, 35,000 customers have lost power because of the storm, according to regional power grid official Bernard Laurans, who spoke to French news channel iTele.

France's meteorological service warned of a "very unsettled'' situation, issuing wind or wave alerts for 10 coastal areas and warning of gusts of up to 140 kph (85 mph) in exposed coastal areas.

British police continued to investigate the death Saturday of 7-year-old Summer Grant, who was killed while playing on an inflatable bouncy castle that was swept away by a sudden gust of wind. An autopsy showed she died of multiple injuries after being carried some 150 yards (meters) by the winds.

A man and woman with the bouncy castle company have been released on bail after being arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

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