Train services to and from London on Saturday were canceled due to flooding in the tunnel under the River Thames, causing disruptions for those traveling during the holiday season.
Numerous individuals attempting to cross the English Channel were stuck at St. Pancras International station in London and the Gare du Nord station in Paris. Eurostar, the company that operates train services between London, Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam, announced the cancellation of 29 trains on Saturday due to flooding. No further trains are expected to run for the remainder of the day.
The engineers in charge of the tunnel reported that the water levels were decreasing. They also mentioned that the amount of water in the tunnel was unlike anything they had ever seen before.
Storm Gerrit has brought strong winds and heavy rain to the U.K. during the holiday season, causing significant damage. Additional stormy conditions and potential travel disruptions are anticipated during the final weekend of the year.
Chris Dillashaw, a resident of San Antonio, Texas, was one of the many individuals whose New Year’s Eve plans were disrupted by the travel disruptions.
“Our entire family is here. … We were celebrating Christmas in Paris and then headed to London for our New Year’s Eve plans,” he told The Associated Press while waiting at Gare du Nord. “It’s pretty disappointing to find out via an email what happened.”
Christina David, aged 25, and Georgina Benyamin, aged 26, both from Sydney, expressed that they have no accommodation options following the cancellation of their train from London to Paris, which was their last destination on a multi-week European trip.
Benyamin explained that they had spent a significant amount of money on a hotel room that offered a view of the Eiffel Tower. However, they now needed to find another hotel for the night and were unsure of where to go or where they could stay.
Eurostar expressed deep regret for the unexpected problems that have been impacting our customers and services.
The company stated that they recognize the importance of returning home before the end of the holiday season and before the beginning of the New Year.
Eurostar trains experienced disruptions right before Christmas because Eurotunnel employees went on strike.
The Met Office, the U.K.’s weather forecasting organization, has announced that London and southern England can expect further high winds and rain on Saturday. Wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour (80 kph) are anticipated, with the most powerful winds predicted along the coastal regions.