Gatwick flights diverted as Storm Katie brings Easter-ly chaos


Flights arriving at Gatwick Airport had to be diverted to due to high winds as Storm Katie ensured the Easter weekend continued to be wet and windy.

Gusts of more than 70mph hit areas in the South West and amber weather warnings were issued for London and the South East.

In addition Highways England said the Dartford River Crossing and M48 Severn Bridge were closed overnight on Sunday because of strong winds.

Four flights due to land at Gatwick's north terminal between 2am and 2.55am were listed as diverted on the airport's website.

The Met Office tweeted that gusts of 77mph had been recorded at Berry Head and The Needles saw winds of 87mph.

Those travelling back from breaks across the country are advised to be careful on the roads, and if possible delay their journeys until later on Easter Monday afternoon.

Heavy rain moving north-eastwards across England and Wales presents a risk of localised flooding, while motorists are warned to be wary of branches falling from trees in the high winds.

A yellow warning for wind has been issued for south Wales, the East and South West, while a more serious amber warning is in place for London and the south-east.

Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said: "There is likely to be a lot of surface spray on the roads, there could be localised flooding, and the winds could cause branches to come off the trees, and one or two tiles off the roof.

"On the south coast there could be quite large waves.

"People should keep tuned in to the forecast, and avoid the east coast, south coast and high grounds as well if possible. Allow extra time for your journey and if possible try and delay your journey as winds will tend to ease off throughout the day."

Winds of up to 60mph are forecast inland, with speeds of 70mph expected along the south coast, especially towards exposed areas across the south and south-east.

Northern Ireland and Scotland are set to escape Storm Katie, with a much quieter and bright, if showery, Easter Monday in store, Mr Petagna added.