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Travel chaos and thousands without power as hurricane-force winds and record storm surge hit parts of Europe.

Travel chaos and power outages as hurricane-force winds slam parts of Europe

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    Digital writers

    Thursday, December 5, 2013, 5:12 PM -

    Hurricane-force winds with gusts upwards of 180 km/h hit the Scottish Highlands early Thursday, prompting many road and bridge closures.

    All train services in Scotland were suspended with Network Rail officials saying, "there's too much debris and too much damage to equipment to continue."

    A truck driver was killed and four people were injured in an accident west of Edinburgh when high winds toppled his vehicle onto several cars, police said.

    Power has been knocked out to about 100,000 homes and businesses and several flights in and out of Scotland were cancelled as well.

    The British government's crisis committee met to discuss its response to a storm that threatened to cause flooding to as many as 6,000 homes.

    "Tidal surge in the North Sea hasn't been this bad since 1953," Weather Network meteorologist Brian Dillon said.

    In an effort to protect London from significant coastal flooding, the Thames Barrier was being closed on Thursday.

    According to The Associated Press, The Environment Agency issued more than 250 flood alerts across England and Wales, including 28 "severe'' warnings of significant threats to life. 

    "By Thursday afternoon, the strongest winds will move into the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany," said Chris Scott in his latest Insider Insight.

    Train services in Denmark and the Netherlands were suspended early Thursday afternoon and German authorities reported flooding on the low-lying North Sea islands of Langeness and Hooge near Denmark, the DPA news agency reported.

    Scott adds that an unusual aspect of this storm is the track.

    "Most low pressure systems that deepen this quickly tend to move with a trajectory north of due east. However, this system will move almost due east, even ‘digging’ slightly south as it explodes in intensity. It will be centred near the Baltic Sea by Thursday evening, spreading severe gales into Germany and Poland."

    With files from The Associated Press

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