Storm Eunice is heading for London on Friday, bringing strong winds, and the Met Office has issued a red warning for the capital, in place between 10am and 3pm.
Mayor says stay at home
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has instructed Londoners to stay at home, unless travel is 'absolutely essential':
A red warning has now been issued for London. #StormEunice will bring damaging winds which pose a risk to life today.— Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (@MayorofLondon) February 18, 2022
Please stay at home, do not take risks, and do not travel unless absolutely essential.
Senior government officials are expected to hold an emergency Cobra meeting on Friday afternoon to discuss storm impact and recovery.
How windy is it in London?
Forecasts are predicting wind speeds of up to 70mph in London on Friday (and it'll be windier on the coast), expected to peak sometime between 11am-1pm — though things'll be fairly brisk either side of this time too.
As of around 9.30am, wind speeds of 40-45mph are being reported in Highbury Fields.
What's closed in London due to Storm Eunice?
The iconic white canvas of The O2 dome is being ripped to shreds, in several videos posted on social media.
Several venues including The London Eye and Kew Gardens announced they will be closed on Friday due to forecasts of severe weather.
The London Eye made the announcement on Twitter on Thursday. River Cruise boats will also be out of action.
Due to severe weather disruption the London Eye and River Cruise has taken the difficult decision to close tomorrow (Fri 18 Feb). The safety of our guests is our number one priority and we apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please follow us here for updates.— The London Eye (@TheLondonEye) February 17, 2022
Kew Gardens also announced it won't open on Friday — including its current Orchids exhibition and planned late-night opening on Friday night.
❗ Kew Gardens will be closed tomorrow, Friday 18 February 2022, due to adverse weather conditions.— Kew Gardens (@kewgardens) February 17, 2022
We apologise for any inconvenience caused. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/uByqXaUv65
Elsewhere, Royal Parks said that all parks will now be closed on Friday 18 February. Initially, the organisation said that some parks would be closed as a precaution, but the full closure came as London was upgraded to a red warning. Keep an eye on the Royal Parks website for up-to-date info.
Other London venues which have confirmed they will closed include:
- ZSL London Zoo — info here
- Kenwood House in Hampstead — info here
- Morden Hall Park — info here
- Chiswick House and Gardens — info here
Outside of London, Painshill Park in Surrey and Bedgebury Pinetum, Leeds Castle and Chartwell in Kent are among other attractions in the south east which are closing on Friday.
We expect several more venues, including attractions, shops and restaurants may be closed on Friday, or may have reduced opening hours, as businesses try to keep their staff and customers safe.
Uber Eats has temporarily paused the app in areas where the red weather warning is in place — which includes London. It will reopen "as soon as it is safe to do so". There are reports that the Deliveroo app has also been taken offline in some parts of London.
TfL Storm Eunice updates
TfL is advising passengers to use its travel tools to check their journeys before they travel, as journeys may be disrupted. Here's what we know so far, but the situation is changing first so do check with official channels for the latest news. In addition to the below, nearly all tube lines currently (1.15pm) have severe delays and/or part closures — latest status updates here.
As of Friday morning, there's no service on the London Overground between Romford and Upminster, and between Edmonton Green and Cheshunt, and there's a reduced service Richmond and Stratford, due to strong winds.
TfL Rail has a reduced service on all routes due to the strong winds.
District line: service suspended between Parsons Green and Wimbledon due to objects on track. Delays between Turnham Green and Richmond.
Piccadilly line: No service between Arnos Grove and Cockfosters due to objects on track.
Trams: No service between Wimbledon and Mitcham Junction due to a tree on the overhead power cables. Also closed between Wandle Park and East Croydon due to planned engineering works.
The cable cars are, of course, closed.
Travel disruption in London due to Storm Eunice
Official advice is to avoid travelling unless absolutely necessary on Friday 18 February, and be prepared for delays, disruption and cancellations if you do travel.
Here's what's been announced so far:
- The Queen Elizabeth II bridge/Dartford Crossing over the Thames between Kent and Essex will be closed from 5am on Friday morning — no expected reopening time given.
- Southeastern: 50mph speed restriction expected across the network until 6pm on Friday, with knock-on delays, cancellations and alterations to routes. NO trains between Ramsgate-Folkestone and Hastings-Tonbridge. Advice is not to travel. As of 12.30pm on Friday, Southeastern has closed its network down with no trains running, and no news of when it will reopen.
- Great Western Railway: Also heading for a complete network shutdown, now unable to run trains on the majority of its network.
- Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern: Do Not Travel warning given, as there's no guarantee they'll be able to get you to your destination.
- Multiple other operators are also giving DO NOT TRAVEL advice:
Spare a thought for pilots and passengers flying into and out of affected airports today. There's a video live stream of planes landing at Heathrow — you'll never be happier to be on solid ground.
Helping homeless people during Storm Eunice
Sadiq Khan has announced that emergency shelters will be open overnight on Thursday 17-Friday 18 February, to provide somewhere safe and warm for anyone sleeping rough.
Both the mayor and homelessness charity Shelter are directing people to Streetlink, an organisation which connects homeless people and rough sleepers with the help they need.
We'll bring you further updates on closures and disruptions due to Storm Eunice as they happen — keep an eye on this page. Do avoid going out if at all possible on Friday, follow official advice, batten down the hatches and stay safe.