Gales, flooding and snow bring chaos to Britain

(dpa) - Storms battering southern Britain Monday caused travel chaos as roads, rail, sea and air services were hit by gale-force winds.

The main ferry port of Dover on the south coast was closed to all shipping movements Monday, the authorities said.

A number of British Airways' short-haul flights from Heathrow and Gatwick airports in London were cancelled as air traffic control chiefs imposed flow controls on take-offs and landings.

Ferry sailings between Portsmouth, in southern Britain, and Bilbao, in northern Spain, were also cancelled.

Operations at Bristol airport, in the south-west, were suspended for several hours early Monday.

The M25, the main ring road around London was partly closed due to flooding.

In northern Britain, driving winds and snow caused treacherous conditions in the county of Cumbria, on the north-eastern coast.

Lorries sheltered at roadsides to avoid being toppled by the gusts as snow ploughs were out to keep main roads open.

The Environment Agency said the whole of the coast of Cornwall, in the south-west, had been put on high flood alert as tides were expected to peak during the morning.

The province of Northern Ireland was also hit by strong winds overnight, as snow was predicted for northern parts of Britain in what forecasters said would be the one of the "worst storms of the winter."

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