LONDON (AP) – Eurostar services to and from London were canceled Saturday after a tunnel under the River Thames became flooded due to heavy rain, disrupting festive travel plans.
Hundreds of travelers trying to get across the English Channel were stranded at London’s St. Pancras International station and the Gare du Nord station in Paris. Eurostar, which runs services from London to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam, said it would be running no high-speed train services throughout Saturday because of the flooding.
The U.K. has been battered by strong, gusty winds and heavy rain brought by Storm Gerrit throughout the festive period. More stormy weather and travel disruption is expected during the last weekend of the year.
Chris Dillashaw, from San Antonio, Texas, was among many whose plans for New Year’s Eve were ruined by the travel chaos.
“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.”
This is the flooding that is causing chaos for Eurostar passengers this morning – and disrupting some high-speed services too. Picture from Southeastern. pic.twitter.com/vytJeVckDh
— Simon Jones (@SimonJonesNews) December 30, 2023
Christina David, 25, and Georgina Benyamin, 26, from Sydney, said they have nowhere to stay after finding out that their train from London to Paris – their final stop in a weeks-long European tour – was canceled.
“We paid for an expensive hotel with an Eiffel Tower view,” Benyamin said. “Now we have to book a hotel to stay for the night here. We don´t know where to go; we have nowhere to stay.”
The U.K.’s weather forecaster, the Met Office, said more high winds and rain are expected to hit London and southern England on Saturday. Gusts of up to 50 miles per hour (80 kph) are expected, with the strongest winds likely near coastal areas.