LiveSt Jude's storm: How the day unfolded in south-west London and north Surrey

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Summary

  • We survived the great storm of 2013!
  • It wasn't quite the tornado many were expecting, but hundreds of trees were slain by powerful winds in an arboreal massacre.
  • Mainline train services were due to start at 9am after Network Rail warns of high risk to trees and debris falling on to railway lines - but many were still suspended in the afternoon.
  • London Tramlink suspended after trees fell in Croydon.
  • How was it for you? Send your pictures and reaction to digitalmedia@london.newsquest.co.uk.

5:02pm

And on that note we're going to wrap up this live report on a hugely disrupted day after this morning's storm.

Thank you to everyone who send in their pictures and comments to describe what has happened in south-west London and north Surrey.

The outlook for tomorrow morning looks cold and rainy in the morning (just 10 degrees!) There is a 36% chance of rain tomorrow and wind speeds are expected to reach 15mph - nowhere near hurricane force!

Useful website to help you on your journey:

Transport for London: www.tfl.gov.uk.

Southern Railway: www.southernrailway.com.

First Capital Connect: www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk.

South West Trains: www.southwesttrains.co.uk.

National Rail: www.nationalrail.co.uk.

And remember we still want to hear from YOU - send us your news and reaction to today's stormy day by emailing digitalmedia@london.newsquest.co.uk. We are keen to see your letters, comments and pictures!

4:54pm

Here is the scene from Sutton station, where it appears the train to West Croydon is delayed by over two hours.

According to the departure boards the other Southern services are on time.

Make sure you check Southern's website before you begin your journey - see the 4.09pm post for a round-up of the afternoon situation on public transport.

Wandsworth Guardian:

4:38pm

A weather expert says last night’s storm ‘packed a punch’ but not as bad as the one which killed his great grandfather.

Ian Currie, our local weather expert and founder of magazine, Weather Eye, said: “I wouldn’t say it was something that  unusual. It wasn’t anything like the storm of 1987, although it was still quite powerful.

“October is often a time of great storms. Apart from 1987 we’ve also had the storm of October 25, 1859, which was very bad in our area, and also led to the first forecast.

“A lot of sailors died at sea, and Robert FitzRoy [a distinguished naval captain] was disappointed there was nothing to predict storms. He devised the first storm warning system.

“A great grandfather of mine also died in a terrible storm in 1881.”
He said it had been a very mild October, about 16 degrees at 2am, when it would normally be about six degrees.


He said: “This warmth provides the energy for the storm.  The temperature of the Atlantic Ocean is much warmer than usual, but it is getting very chilly in the Arctic. That’s quite a contrast, and often leads to a strong jet stream.

“When that meets an area of low pressure, which we have just to the west of us at the moment, it can cause a vortex in the atmosphere which deepens.

"That’s what happened to us on Sunday.

“We’ve had a number of worse storms but nonetheless it wasn’t weak – it certainly packed a punch.”

4:13pm

In other news, Kew Gardens said it has lost between 10 and 15 mature trees today.

Go here to read more on this.

4:09pm

TRAVEL UPDATE:

The afternoon rush hour is already upon us so let's do a quick round-up:

Tube: Minor delays on both the District Line (Wimbledon branch) and Northern Line (Morden branch).

Overground: No service between Camden Road and Richmond / Clapham Junction and between Clapham Junction and Willesden Junction.

Minor delays between Highbury & Islington and New Cross / West Croydon / Crystal Palace. 

Southern:  Victoria to Brighton trains will be at 06 and 36 minutes past the hour from Victoria, calling at Clapham Junction, East Croydon, Gatwick, Haywards Heath and Brighton.

Victoria to Epsom services are now running full off-peak services.

Victoria to Sutton services are reinstated.

London Bridge to West Croydon services are running as advertised off-peak.

First Capital Connect: London Blackfriars - Mitcham Junction - Sutton - Wimbledon - London Blackfriars (calling at all stations) in one direction only.

South West Trains: Severe delays on all routes from central London to Epsom/Chessington/Kingston/Esher/Weybridge/Richmond/Wimbledon as trains are brought back into the network.

London Tramlink: Service suspended after earlier obstruction in Croydon.

 

It's certainly been a busy day for the public transport operators today!

 

 

3:45pm

Yet more storm damage, this time in Kingston Road, Raynes Park. Thanks to Jo Batten for sending in this picture.

Wandsworth Guardian:

3:05pm

TRAVEL UPDATE:

We have some service now on the London Overground - there are now "minor delays" between New Cross and East Croydon / Crystal Palace.

But there is still no service between Clapham Junction and Surrey Quays, nor between Clapham Junction and Willesden Junction. 

Services to and from Richmond are also still suspended.

2:47pm

2:40pm

TRAVEL UPDATE: 

Battersea Park station is closed due to storm damage. Some services are now running from Victoria but are unable to call at the station.

Keep tabs on this on our live travel section.

Wandsworth Guardian:

Picture of tree damage in Wandsworth Common, taken by Leanne Moran

2:37pm

A tree in Sutton was due to be cut down by the council today. You'll never guess what happened next... 

Read more about this story.

Wandsworth Guardian: The giant tree was due to be felled today but high winds did the job before the council could

2:21pm

TRAVEL UPDATE:

And now Southern has announced that the Sutton to Victoria service via Clapham Junction is now running again, albeit with a reduced service.

The operator said minutes ago: "All Southern Routes are now open following high winds across the Southern network earlier this morning. However, The Tonbridge to Redhill line is still blocked due to fallen trees.

"Please note, that services may still be disrupted as trains are having to run at reduced speeds as a precaution. A temporary timetable which is a much reduced service from the normal weekday timetable is now in place."

More details on Southern's website.

2:13pm

TRAVEL UPDATE:

Just a reminder that First Capital Connect are now running a limited service on the Wimbledon loop in one direction only. You can go from Sutton to Blackfriars via Wimbledon, but not the other way.

 

2:02pm

Another tree bites the dust. This time in Mitcham.

Thanks for this picture to mum of four, Katie Tilcock-Dew, who has found time to relax despite today's storm.

Wandsworth Guardian:

1:50pm

Wandsworth Guardian:

Just in case you don't know - St Jude was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus. He is definitely not to be confused with Judas, the traitor.

In the Roman Catholic church he is the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes, because his New Testament letter stresses that we should persevere in difficult circumstances.

He was, of course, living in a time of mass genocide and people being nailed to crosses, so he probably knew what he was talking about.

1:31pm

TRAVEL UPDATE: 

Minor delays on the London Underground District Line Wimbledon branch and Northern Line Morden branch.

There is still no service on the London Overground services to West Croydon, Clapham Junction and Richmond.

No service either on London Tramlink between Lloyd Park and New Addington due to overhead line damage at Coombe Lane in Croydon. Tickets are being accepted on local buses.

Most South West Trains services still not running, but test trains are out and about as the operator tries to phase in services later today.

First Capital Connect is now operating a limited service on the loop from London Blackfriars IN ONE DIRECTION ONLY. This means you can travel towards Wimbledon from Sutton, but not Wimbledon to Sutton. The service is not going beyond Blackfrairs; services to Luton are cancelled.

Southern have confirmed that, until further notice, there will no be trains stopping at Sutton. London Victoria to Epsom services will run every 30 minutes and London Bridge to West Croydon services will also run half-hourly.

1:12pm

Wandsworth Guardian: RMT General Secretary Bob Crow

So how well have the train operators coped during today's storm?

Here's the opinion of RMT union leader Bob Crow, who has just issued a statement:

"Not only have cuts to staffing and infrastructure investment left us ill prepared to cope with this severe weather but we also have reports this morning of bus companies sending vehicles and drivers out onto roads that are clearly downright dangerous, and strewn with trees and debris, without a thought for staff or passenger safety.  RMT is taking that appalling situation up with the companies involved.

"Since the last big storm in 1987 the rail network has axed over 2000 engineering staff and has hacked back investment in drainage, embankments and tree clearance.  That policy is coming back to haunt them and will leave hundreds of thousands of passengers who pay a fortune in fares unable to get to work in the morning.  That is a shocking reflection on the state of our railways. 

"RMT pays tribute to those rail, maritime and transport workers who have been out there overnight in horrific conditions battling to keep services running with inadequate capacity and resources. Those workers are heroes today but face the continuing threat to their jobs tomorrow.  That is disgraceful.

"The past 24 hours have shown that  there are not enough staff to clear tracks and keep trains running as numbers have been hacked to the bone.  We barely have enough crew to cope with routine engineering works let alone emergencies as the shutdown of services across the south and up into the Midlands has confirmed. 

"RMT demands an end to the plans to axe hundreds more track staff and calls for an increase in both crew numbers and investment in infrastructure to avoid the kind of unprecedented panic measures we have seen over night ."

1:01pm

Imagine waking up one morning to find this happen to your car... horrific.

Thanks to Tom Humphries who took these pictures in Grosvenor Avenue, Carshalton

Wandsworth Guardian:

Wandsworth Guardian:

12:42pm

Minor storm damage in Colliers Wood, near Wimbledon. Don't worry: the Brown and Root tower, voted the ugliest building in the universe, is still intact after today's storm.

Thanks to Simon Brunning for these pictures.

Wandsworth Guardian:

Wandsworth Guardian:

Wandsworth Guardian:

12:39pm

12:37pm

12:16pm

12:16pm

12:15pm

We are seriously going to run out of trees in south London soon... Costcutter meets tree cutter in Herne Hill:

 

12:03pm

TRAVEL UPDATE:

Southern have now published a temporary timetable, which will be in use for the rest of the day.

It looks like services from Sutton to and from Victoria have been CANCELLED today.

  • Brighton Main Line

Victoria to Brighton: Victoria to Brighton trains will be at 06 and 36 minutes past the hour from Victoria, calling at Clapham Junction, East Croydon, Gatwick, Haywards Heath and Brighton

Brighton to Victoria trains will be at 19 and 49 minutes past the hour from Brighton, calling at Haywards Heath, Gatwick, East Croydon and Victoria

  • Gatwick Express

Gatwick Express services will run half hourly.

Victoria to Gatwick Airport trains will run on the hour and 30 minutes past the hour from Victoria
  
Gatwick Airport to Victoria trains will run at 20 and 50 minutes past the hour from Gatwick Airport

  • Metro

Victoria to London Bridge services and vice versa are suspended

Victoria to Epsom services will run every 30 minutes

Victoria to Horsham services will run as advertised in the timetable 

Victoria to Dorking services will run as advertised in the timetable 

Victoria to Sutton services are suspended

Victoria to Caterham services will run hourly 

Services to Tattenham Corner are suspended
London Bridge to Beckenham Junction services are suspended

London Bridge to West Croydon services will run half-hourly

London Bridge to Tattenham Corner services are suspended

London Bridge to Caterham services will run hourly

 

 

11:50am

Don't worry, it's not all bad news today.

Neil Straughton from Sutton said: "Despite the devastation the bear bravely clung onto the tree throughout the storm."

Wandsworth Guardian:

 

11:45am

11:41am

11:37am

More catas-tree-phes in Sutton:

 

 

 

PS. Apologies for the tree pun. 

11:35am

11:32am

This tree has fallen from a house in Effingham Road, Long Ditton, near Surbiton.
It is on the K3 bus route.

Wandsworth Guardian:

Wandsworth Guardian:

11:29am

11:28am

TRAVEL UPDATE:

South West Trains have released a statment confirming no trains will run until noon at the earliest. Fifty fallen trees have been reported on their network.

A "phased reintroduction" of trains is now underway on trains from Surrey and Hampshire to Waterloo via Wimbledon and Clapham Junction.

But does anyone think the trains will be back up to full capacity at all today?

"South West Trains is continuing to advise passengers not to travel today (Monday 28 October 2013) as engineers work to clear fallen trees and debris following overnight hurricane-force winds and heavy rain across the south of the country.

"Test trains have been running since early this morning to check the condition of routes. Maintenance teams and engineers are dealing with around 50 fallen trees and the impact from other debris across the South West Trains network, which covers the area worst affected by the storm.

A phased re-introduction of a small number of services is now underway on the following routes which have been declared safe to run trains:
• Portsmouth to Southampton
• Waterloo to Bournemouth
• Staines to Waterloo via Twickenham
• Basingstoke to London Waterloo (London-bound only)
• Woking to London Waterloo
• Farnham to London Waterloo

"However, services elsewhere on the network are not expected to run before 12noon at the earliest and in some cases this could be considerably later. A significantly reduced train service will operate on routes which have been declared safe to re-open.

"When trains start running, the high winds mean that they will be restricted to a maximum speed of 50mph as a safety precaution in case of obstructions on the tracks. This will result in significant delays to journeys and some may take twice the normal time."

11:24am

11:20am

Sophie Mayor took this shot of a tree blown over near the United Reform Church in Raeburn Avenue, Berrylands.

Wandsworth Guardian:

11:19am

Surrey County Council has said they have responded to more than 80 incidents involving local flooding and fallen trees as storms have hit the area.

Call centre staff have taken more than 400 calls, and 82 overnight were passed to rapid response crews specialising in clearing fallen trees, dealing with local flooding and keeping roads clear.

People are being urged to check on any vulnerable neighbours they think may need help.

11:04am

Oh dear: a pensioner has been injured after a tree fell on his car in Wimbledon.

 

10:53am

WEATHER UPDATE:

The Met Office has said the storm will ease off in South West London by this afternoon.

No amber warnings have been issued after 12pm, with gusts slowing down to 26mph after reaching highs of 49mph at 6am this morning.

The storm is expected to track rapidly across the country, moving to the North Sea by late morning, when the strongest winds will have passed.

Heavy rain will follow the storm, with showers expected at 3pm.

Martin Young, Chief Forecaster at the Met Office, said: "While this is a major storm for the UK, we don't currently expect winds to be as strong as those seen in the 'Great Storm' of 1987 or the 'Burns Day storm' of 1990.

"This weather system is typical of what we expect to see in winter but as it's coming in during autumn - when trees are in leaf - and while the ground is fairly saturated, it does pose some risks.”

See the weather for your area with our live service.

10:48am

St Barnabas Church, in Temple Road, Epsom, which was hit by a tree this morning. It was reported to Epsom firefighters at 7.30am.  

The church is the home of the Sunnybank Trust and Love Me Love My Mind.

Wandsworth Guardian:

Wandsworth Guardian:

10:44am

TRAVEL UPDATE:

London Tramlink is still suspended after fallen trees on the line. Here's a fallen tree at Coombe Lane tram stop in Croydon.

Wandsworth Guardian:

Wandsworth Guardian:

10:39am

10:38am

I know it's probably too early for a kebab, but just in case you were thinking of heading to Kebab Planet in Sutton High Street - the wind has nearly blown off its sign.

Don't worry - a helpful member of the police service is staunchly guarding the sign.

Wandsworth Guardian:

Wandsworth Guardian:

10:33am

TRAVEL UPDATE:

Southern Railway have just released a statement, confirming there are still no services to Sutton, Epsom, Balham, Wimbledon, Clapham Junction and Croydon.

"We have a number of large tree still blocking lines on our network, which Network Rail is in the process of removing.

"The Brighton Mainline has now been cleared of trees, and we will begin operating services just after 1015. The first service to run will be the 1019 Brighton to Victoria service, with further services to follow. Gatwick Express services will be reinstated shortly after this point, and Southern tickets will be accepted on Gatwick Express services.

"We will then begin operating on further routes once they have been confirmed as clear, and are safe for us to run services. We expect that these routes will include Arun Valley services via Three Bridges.

"Work to clear lines remains ongoing on the East Coastway and other routes, and we hope to have those open as soon as possible.

"Passengers are reminded to check www.southernrailway.com before they travel."

10:30am

If you're thinking to yourself: "This storm isn't so bad, what's all the fuss about?", you're not alone!

10:28am

10:09am

TRAVEL UPDATE: 

South West Trains will now not be running any trains until 12pm. 

They have found excess of 30 trees blocking lines across their network.

Continuing disruption to trains across south west London.

All First Capital Connect routes are currently suspended until further notice.

Passengers may use London Underground services on any reasonable route.

All Southern Rail routes were expected to start running trains from 10am with an amended timetable running after that subject to lines being judged safe to reopen.

All routes will run to revised timetables withy delays of up to 60 minutes anticipated.

There will be no service between Windsor & Eton Riverside and London Waterloo.

Passengers are advised to check the status of their journey before leaving.

10:08am

Road closures announced in Epsom: go here to read about it.

10:00am

Maple Road in Surbiton has been reopened after tree fell in the road earlier today.

For more on what's going on in Kingston upon Thames visit the Surrey Comet website and read their news story about the storm.

Wandsworth Guardian:

9:49am

No such luck in Bensham Manor Road, Croydon, where bricks have been blown apart in front of someone's front garden.

Wandsworth Guardian:

9:47am

We've had reports of a miracle in East Sheen, near Richmond!

Fiona Bengtsson reports: "By some miracle the tree outside our house fell between our two cars but I don't think it touched either!

"This happened at 6.30 this morning.

"Extraordinarily the tree had been leaning towards our house before the storm - how lucky that it fell where it did at not through our bedroom window!"

Thanks Fiona for letting us know. A sceptic might say this is very good fortune rather than a miracle, but it's still great news!

Wandsworth Guardian:

9:39am

More fallen trees in Sutton:

Wandsworth Guardian:

Grosvenor Avenue, Carshalton (thanks to Nigel Shaw for sending this in)

Wandsworth Guardian:

Thicket Road, Sutton (Thanks to Wayne Harbar)

Wandsworth Guardian:

Beddington (Thanks to David Page)

9:34am

Tree down in Plough Lane, Wimbledon - avoid!

9:33am

Looks like a real mess at Clapham Junction station in Battersea, where the gates to platforms are still closed because of concerns of overcrowding.

Wandsworth Guardian:

Are you waiting outside a closed train station? Call 020 8722 6382 or email digitalmedia@london.newsquest.co.uk so we can let others know.

9:29am

A tree was blown down overnight in Amesbury Avenue, Streatham, just off the High Road.

The tree came down on top of several cars, causing significant damage to one of them, and is partially blocking the road, although traffic is able to get past.

Wandsworth Guardian:

Fernwood Avenue in Streatham was also sealed off by police tape at 8am this morning.

On South Croxted Road in West Dulwich a tree has also been blown down on top of a building. The road is running normally.

On the top of Crystal Palace hill, which has borne the brunt of the winds, a massive 90 ft poplar came down, narrowly missing a line of parked cars.

Wandsworth Guardian:

9:26am

9:14am

Leatherhead: A roof has been ripped off an office building near Chessington World of Adventures.

Firefighters were called to Kingston Road, Leatherhead at 6.45am, and it is still there until the council comes to clear it up.

Go here for more on this story.

9:03am

New Malden: Manor Drive North both ways blocked due to fallen tree between Malden Way and B284 Church Road / The Manor Drive. Diversion: Affecting bus route S3.

Go here for more about this incident.

8:59am

Battersea: The A3205 Battersea Park Road is blocked due to fallen tree at A3216 Queenstown Road.

Go here to keep tabs on this incident.

8:54am

Sutton police have had a busy morning!

Police received five calls to reports of trees being blown over during high winds in a two-hour period earlier today - with the most serious in Turnpike Lane where a fallen tree had crushed a car and damaged three other vehicles all parked in driveways to houses.

Workmen were called and arrived at 6:30am to start work on cutting up and removing the tree.

Wandsworth Guardian:

PC Julie Brown with the damaged vehicles in Turnpike Lane

Wandsworth Guardian:

The first call came in at 4:19am when a tree had fallen in the road in Sandy Lane South bringing down a telephone cable.

In Ewell Road, Sutton borough officers managed to clear a fallen tree from the road onto the pavement.

Just over Sutton’s border, a tree had come down in Beddington Lane. Greyhound Road became blocked opposite Sutton Grammar School after a tree had fallen into the road.

There were no reports of anyone being injured.

Duty Inspector Peter Stewart-Maundersaid: “It’s been a busy night and the officers have worked hard to keep on top of incidents and keep the public safe.”

Have you got news of fallen trees or other disruption caused by the storm? Call 020 8722 6392 or email digitalmedia@london.newsquest.co.uk.

8:47am

Seems to be getting worse for Northern Line commuters - a big queue is also forming outside Tooting Bec station.

8:43am

Julie Bostock has tweeted this picture of a tree fallen in Wheelers Lane, Epsom.

8:37am

Here is the scene at Balham station a little earlier this morning - a big queue has formed, as tweeted by Kate Salkeld.

Southern services are not expected to begin until 9am and the Northern Line is now also experiencing delays because of a suspension between High Barnet and Finchley Central.

8:34am

Another tree down in Battersea - this is turning into a massacre!

8:26am

Be careful in Worcester Park: A tree has fallen in The Avenue. Thanks to reader Matt Hall for these pictures: 

Wandsworth Guardian:

Wandsworth Guardian:

 

8:22am

Croydon: Bus routes 130 and 466 are subject to diversion and delays in both directions in Gravel Hill due to a fallen tree.

8:18am

South West Trains services may be disrupted until after 9am from Chessington in to Wimbledon and Clapham Junction after a tree came down at Berrylands:

 

8:08am

FLOOD WARNINGS

The Environment Agency has issued flood alerts at the Ravensbourne in Croydon, and the Wandle in Wandsworth, Merton, Lambeth, Croydon and Sutton. A warning has also been issued for the River Mole which goes through Epsom, Elmbridge and Kingston.

In a statement on its website this morning, the Environment Agency said: "River levels have risen in response to rainfall this morning.  Due to the strong winds affecting the area there will be an increased likelihood of rivers becoming blocked or restricted due to debris and fallen trees.

"Please remain vigilant until river levels fall to more normal levels and any substantial blockages have been removed."

8:04am

Another tree down in Croydon, this time in Bensham Manor Road, Thornton Heath:

8:00am

In Croydon a tree has fallen in Purley Way at Imperial Way and Waddon Way. The A23 is blocked northbound.

7:47am

Looks like a tree has fallen in Carshalton according to a reader who tweeted the Sutton Guardian:

Thanks Michelle! Anyone with news can also call 020 8722 6392 or email digitalmedia@london.newsquest.co.uk.

7:35am

London Tramlink is suspended in Croydon between Reeves Corner and Addiscombe, and between Reeves Corner and Therapia Lane. This is due to an obstruction on the line.

See our travel section for updates on this incident.

7:32am

Wimbledon Park Side is blocked in both directions due to a fallen tree at Inner Park Road, just south of Tibbets Corner.

7:26am

LATEST TRAVEL

Wandsworth Guardian:

Sutton station is closed - services expected to resume at 9am

Southern Railway and First Capital Connect have cancelled all trains until 9am - that means no services to Clapham Junction, Mitcham Junction, Wimbledon, Sutton, Epsom and East Croydon.

Most South West Trains services will not run until from at least 8am, affecting services to Kingston, Richmond, Walton, Esher, Chessington, Wimbledon and Clapham Junction.

London Overground is running what it calls a "special service", which essentially means 'no service' until 9am - this affects services to Clapham Junction, Richmond and West Croydon.

In a statement Southern said: "Network Rail has declared that there is a high risk of trees and debris falling onto railway lines and as a consequence, it may be unsafe to run trains while the winds persist.

"Therefore, Southern and Gatwick Express services will not run until it has been declared safe to do so. This will not be before 09:00.

"Passengers are advised to check with National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50 or visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for up to date information as the morning progresses."

Underground services (District Line Wimbledon branch and Northern Line Morden branch) are both running a good service to and from central London.

7:19am

Good morning everyone. That howling you can hear outside is not Halloween come early - it's the sound of incessant and strong wind!

For those of you with children, the good news it's half-term and you do not have to tether the kids to you while walking them to school.

In fact, the Met Office has warned not to make any unnecessary travel until the afternoon. They have issued an amber warning, which means there could be fallen trees, building damage and power failures.

Comments (1)

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9:53am Sat 2 Nov 13

emelem says...

11:50 am- it's staughton, not straughton and the bear is still there! :D
11:50 am- it's staughton, not straughton and the bear is still there! :D emelem
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