Severe storm batters western Europe, British Isles

Published: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 10:11 AM
Updated: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 6:21 AM

The strong winds uprooted trees and left some 200,000 households without electricity, including 30,000 people in the Paris region.

A violent storm packing winds of up to 100 miles per hour battered many parts of western Europe Wednesday, wreaking havoc on transport and leaving hundreds of thousands of homes across France, Switzerland, Britain and Ireland without power.

PHOTOS: Winds and hail hit Europe causing damage

In Switzerland, the storm canceled flights at Zurich and Basel airports and toppled a truck on a Swiss highway. Thousands of households at Lake Zurich were left without power, and firefighters were called to help with toppled trees blocking streets and flooding due to heavy rains.

In England, the storm brought hail and lightning and closed some bridges and road. Extremely high tides caused the partial collapse of a harbor wall in Cornwall in southwestern England, bringing seawater flooding in.

A severe storm packing winds of up to 100 miles per hour (160 kilometres per hour) has battered Britain and Ireland overnight into Wednesday.

Overturned vehicles forced officials to close portions of three major highways in England. The country's main weather forecaster, the Met Office, says gusts reached 100 mph in Cumbria, 280 miles (450 kilometers) northwest of London, early Wednesday morning when the storm peaked.

The storm then crossed the English Channel to damage power systems in France and Germany. Forecasters said gusts of up to 80 mph are possible Wednesday.

France's national electricity provider says it left some 200,000 households without electricity across the country, including 30,000 in the Paris region.

LOCAL WEATHER: Frigid temps remain; chance for snow showers 

The windstorm battered northern France with winds surpassing 90 mph — some of the worst winds to hit France in years. Many posted photos of destroyed cars, collapsed scaffolding and uprooted trees on social media.

In the Paris region a falling tree hit a car and seriously injured one person, while another resident was seriously hurt falling from a building. In total, the Interior Ministry said nine people in France were injured, with four said to be in serious condition following accidents caused by the winds.

Strong winds also caused problems at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, with slight delays stemming from precautions being taken to safely get travelers into aircraft.

In Germany, zoos were closed, roads were flooded and a train derailed as the storm battered many regions.

The German news agency dpa reported Wednesday that a train derailed near Luenen in western Germany when it crashed against a tree that had fallen on the tracks. No injuries were reported.

Highways near Duisburg and Juelich in the west were also partially blocked because of toppled trees and flooding.

The zoos in Munich and Augsburg in Bavaria closed for the day and the rack railway leading up on Germany's tallest mountain, the Zugspitze, was also shut down because of the storm.

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Thomas Adamson in Paris and Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin contributed.

2018 SAG Awards: Winner list

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 8:18 PM

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 21:  Statue of the Screen Actors Guild Actor is seen at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. 27522_009  (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Turner Image)
Dimitrios Kambouris
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 21: Statue of the Screen Actors Guild Actor is seen at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. 27522_009 (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Turner Image)(Dimitrios Kambouris)

Hollywood stars honored television and cinematic performances at the 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday. 

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Former Disney star Orlando Brown arrested after family disturbance, police say

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 7:11 PM

Orlando Brown. (Photo: Barstow Police Department)
Orlando Brown. (Photo: Barstow Police Department)

Former Disney Channel star Orlando Brown was recently arrested following what authorities say was a violent altercation at an apartment in California.

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The 30-year-old “That’s So Raven” actor was reportedly engaged in a dispute with his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s mother when an officer from the Barstow Police Department arrived on the scene at around 8 a.m. Thursday.

The officer realized there were active arrest warrants on Brown and his girlfriend’s mother, so they were both arrested and booked into the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Barstow Jail, according to a police press release.

Brown’s bail was set at $25,000.

He previously served time in 2013 after failing to complete court-ordered alcohol education classes in connection with a previous DUI arrest.

John Coleman, The Weather Channel founder, dead at 83

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 5:39 PM

CORRECTS THAT COLEMAN IS AT RIGHT, NOT LEFT - In this July 30, 1981 photo,  John Coleman, weather channel founder, right, and Frank Batten, publisher of the Norfolk, Va., Virginian-Pilot and Ledger-Star, and chairman and chief executive of Landmark Communications, Inc., are seen during a news conference in New York. John Coleman, the founder of The Weather Channel and longtime KUSI weatherman, died Saturdaty night, Jan. 20, 2018, at home in Las Vegas, said his wife Linda Coleman. He was 83.  (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler, File)
Marty Lederhandler/AP
CORRECTS THAT COLEMAN IS AT RIGHT, NOT LEFT - In this July 30, 1981 photo, John Coleman, weather channel founder, right, and Frank Batten, publisher of the Norfolk, Va., Virginian-Pilot and Ledger-Star, and chairman and chief executive of Landmark Communications, Inc., are seen during a news conference in New York. John Coleman, the founder of The Weather Channel and longtime KUSI weatherman, died Saturdaty night, Jan. 20, 2018, at home in Las Vegas, said his wife Linda Coleman. He was 83. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler, File)(Marty Lederhandler/AP)

John Coleman, who helped found and develop The Weather Channel, died Saturday at his home in Las Vegas. He was 83.

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Coleman, a longtime weatherman, innovated the position when he started at Good Morning America, according to the Washington Post. 

Coleman started The Weather Channel in 1981 with Joseph D’Aleo. Coleman left the network and continued forecasting on stations in New York and Chicago. He last worked in San Diego until he retired in 2014, according to the Washington Post

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Service dog, Pluto have magical meeting at Walt Disney World

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 5:41 PM

A service dog met Pluto recently. (Photo courtesy Julian Gavino)
A service dog met Pluto recently. (Photo courtesy Julian Gavino)

What happens when you meet your favorite Disney character for the first time?

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Check out what happened Friday night when Atlas, a service dog, saw Pluto for the very first time up close at Walt Disney World.

With his friend recording, Julian Gavino took his Golden Retriever to meet Pluto Friday night at Epcot.

Gavino told ABC News until this past week, Atlas only knew of Pluto as a giant stuffed doll, because he has one at home that "he loves so much."

But the two hit off when they met as real live dogs.

Gavino posted the video on Facebook and wrote "Atlas was more than excited to meet his best pal look alike."

Gavino, who lives in the Sarasota area, has taken his service dog to Disney about once a week since he got him from New Horizons Service Dogs in Orange City, Florida.