Storms flood London temple

LINGFIELD, SURREY, England — The London England Temple was forced to operate on a reduced schedule following flooding during the worst storms in England since 1987.

Temple President Peter L. Morley said that all of the temple's basement flooded during heavy rainstorms overnight on Sunday, Oct. 29.

"The temple is not ordinarily open on Mondays, so we had a day to assess the situation and clear water out," he said. The temple remained closed on Tuesday. Consideration was given to opening the temple on Wednesday for work other than baptisms; the baptistry and cafeteria are in the basement.

"There's a question of whether we'll be able to open the basement all week," President Morley told the Church News on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 31.

Also sustaining flood damage were the temple's accommodations center, which provides housing for temple patrons and ordinance workers, and the Manor House, a 1912 Tudor-style home on the temple property. Damage to these buildings was described as "a minor inconvenience," while damage to the temple was called "a major concern." This is the third time the temple has been flooded.

Flooding has been extensive throughout the British Isles. Particularly hard hit were Wales and southern England where transportation systems were "nearly paralyzed," according to news reports. Train service was suspended or delayed hours; 100 flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports were canceled; roads were flooded, leaving thousands stranded in their vehicles. The Port of Dover was closed, stranding thousands on incoming ferry boats. Two tornadoes struck England's west Sussex area within 48 hours. Snow blizzards hampered travel in Yorkshire and Lancashire.

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