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article imageStorm Dennis now rivals the most intense North Atlantic storms

By Karen Graham     Feb 15, 2020 in Environment
The UK is bracing for a second straight weekend of wild winter weather and flooding that's already seen the army deployed to help out residents in northern England and the Royal Navy to assist in a search and rescue operation.
Hurricane-force winds up to 80 knots (92 mph) and monster waves that could reach over 100 feet (30 meters) high were roaring across the North Atlantic, the U.S. National Weather Service's Ocean Prediction Center reported early Saturday, reports NBC News.
The high winds have already knocked down trees and caused power outages in several areas, with wind gusts recorded at over 77 miles per hour. By Saturday afternoon, there were 31 flood warnings issued around England, in addition to 26 in Scotland and six in Wales.
The BBC is reporting that UK Met forecasters say a month's worth of rain could fall in some places, already saturated from Storm Ciara last weekend and further spells of rain this week with a risk of significant impacts from flooding, including property damage and a danger to life from fast-flowing floodwater.
The MoD has sent 75 soldiers from the 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland, to Ilkley and Calderdale in West Yorkshire to help build flood barriers and shore up defenses. An additional 70 Reservists from the 4th Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, will also be providing support where required.
Calderdale Council leader Tim Swift said their presence would be a "reassuring sight" for residents of "already exhausted communities."
In other developments associated with Storm Dennis - EasyJet has canceled about 350 flights over the weekend. London's Heathrow Airport has grounded about 60 flights, most of them British Airways.
Network Rail is asking customers to check first for delays or cancellations before heading out this weekend, while Scotrail is advising customers in the west of Scotland not to travel by train due to severe disruption and line closures.
LNER has canceled dozens of services between London and the North East of England, and other rail lines could be affected by the severe weather. It is recommended that travelers check with the rail line before heading out.
Looking past this weekend, Storm Dennis is expected to then spread into parts of northern Europe Saturday into Sunday, from northern France to northern Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. Expect the strongest winds from Storm Dennis to hit Northern Ireland and Scotland later Sunday and Monday as the remnant of the merged low pivots just to the north.
A body has been found by rescue crews searching for a man reported to have gone overboard from a fuel tanker off Margate Harbour in Kent before the storm struck. A second body was recovered from the sea near Herne Bay, in the same region where the first victim was found.
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