Crawley home damaged and flights cancelled during Storm Katie

Tree brought down by Storm Katie in Fernhurst. Photo contributed by Souther Electric
Tree brought down by Storm Katie in Fernhurst. Photo contributed by Souther Electric
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Storm Katie left people stranded in floodwater and Crawley property damaged by fallen trees.

Gatwick flights and train services were cancelled as the town was hit by strong winds on Monday morning (March 28).

Sam Truelove, 19, of Crawley, said: “Crawley has been battered by Storm Katie.

“Dustbins all over numerous roads and cones scattered across A23 Gatwick Road.”

Firefighters rescued two people stranded in a flooded car in Lowfield Heath Road at about 4am.

A crew was called after trees fell on a garage and a home in Langley Green.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service was called at 9.53am after tree hit a garage in Mulberry Road.

A spokesman said a crew returned just an hour later after another tree fell on a home in Langley Walk.

Firefighters were called to Currys PC World in County Oak Way after high winds blew off the store’s roof panels.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said the force received dozens of calls to fallen trees or overhanging branches in Crawley during the storm.

A fallen tree blocked Balcombe Road between Worth Road and Maidenbower.

Shipley Bridge Lane was also blocked in Horley after a tree was uprooted near the turning from Antlands Lane, bringing down power lines to homes in the area.

A spokesman for Gatwick Airport told the BBC 26 flights had been cancelled and 23 diverted. Roads were closed near the airport up to 100mph gusts.

Passengers spent hours queueing at the airport during the delays.

Jet-setters coming into Gatwick expressed relief on social media and thanked pilots for landing safely at the airport.

The Met Office upgarded its weather warning for wind from Yellow to Amber on Sunday night.

Sussex Police responded to some 600 weather-related calls between midnight and 9.30am on Monday.

A spokesman said the vast majority related to trees falling on properties or in roads.

Sussex Police posted a warning on its websites which said: “Very strong southerly winds will affect the county from the early hours of Monday, eventually veering westerly before clearing by late morning.

“Gusts of up 60 to 70mph are likely at times, particularly along the coast, but these may be felt inland too at certain times during the early morning.”

A Network Rail spokesman said a fallen tree disrupted train services between Three Bridges and Horsham.

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