Red Alert in South West London. Joe Treacy, Hampton School

Last Friday, Storm Eunice struck the UK with immense force. Record wind speeds of up to 70mph were recorded in London. The ferocious nature of the storm led to the first ever Red Weather Warning being issued by the Met Office for London and the South East, with millions urged to stay at home from 10am to 3pm, due to a significant danger to life. 

In Kingston Upon Thames, the Council issued warnings advising people ‘not to travel unless absolutely necessary’ and to stay away from the River Thames. Covid Testing Sites were closed across the Borough and all South Western Railway services were suspended due to debris on the track.


Several large trees were uprooted in the local area, including one which blocked the main road between Ham and Richmond, and another on Park Road in Teddington. The impact could have been severe on such busy routes but fortunately, no one was injured in these falls. Richmond Park was forced to close during and after the storm, with the Royal Parks Police releasing this statement: “Richmond Park will remain closed on Sunday 20th February due to the amount of damage caused by the storm”. They went on to say that there are a “number of trees down in the park requiring attention” and the locked gates displayed signs warning ‘Hazardous. Do Not Enter’.


Nearby, at Heathrow Airport, Jerry Dyer kept over 200,000 viewers entertained by streaming aircrafts’ attempts to land, in Storm Eunice’s cross winds, on his Big Jet TV YouTube channel. The live drama and the incredible skill of the pilots, coupled with his commentary, “The Pilot of the Queen of Hearts is inbound… his wife’s watching”’ captivated the audience and went viral.


The Red Weather Warning was accuarte and ultimately quite successful in the local area, and as winds rise again, Kingston Council retweeted a warning from London Fire Brigade which stated:  ‘Although the worst of Storm Eunice is over its affect may extend into the coming days. Please be aware of the potential for loose structures or falling debris.’

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