Storms batter Britain, wash away rail line, pier

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014


LONDON — Heavy rain and winds have pounded England's southern coast, washing away a stretch of rail line, damaging an iconic seaside pier and leaving thousands of homes without power.

A section of seawall under the railway line collapsed at Dawlish on the southwestern coast, while further east in Brighton a chunk of the ornate but derelict West Pier collapsed into the sea.

The storm, which saw wind gusts of up to 91 mph (146 kph), is the latest of the bad weather that has pounded Britain since December.

In the low-lying Somerset Levels, thousands of acres (hectares) have been under water for more than a month.

Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday promised to spend an extra 100 million pounds ($163 million) on flood repairs and maintenance over the next year. (AP)

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