As 2024 started, sections of Europe faced dramatic swings between destructive flooding and paralyzing cold snaps. The erratic conditions brought mayhem and hardship, sinking a party boat in London and endangering citizens across several countries.
In the United Kingdom, emergency personnel issued hundreds of flood warnings following heavy rains on January 4 that drenched areas of the country. A festive boat cruising the River Thames in London sank that day, with the operators suggesting the intense weather likely caused the sinking.
Thankfully, the UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency reported that all passengers had been accounted for without injury.
Meanwhile, approximately 70 firefighters mobilized in eastern London to handle flooding after a canal overflowed its banks that evening.
Farther north in Nottinghamshire, agencies declared a major emergency as water levels rose menacingly along the River Trent. Officials warned the river could approach all-time flooding records in the next few days.
This intense January 4 rainfall came right after Storm Henk earlier that week, which had already walloped southern UK villages with ferocious winds and precipitation.
Tragically, the storm claimed one life on January 2 when a falling tree struck a passing car in Gloucestershire, killing the driver, police reported.
The same storm also caused intense flooding across northern France, cutting electricity to hundreds, forcing over 370 citizens to flee homes, and resulting in at least one confirmed death.
As parts of Britain and France flooded, bone-chilling cold gripped other sections of Europe as 2024 began.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, sinking temperatures left towns isolated under layers of dense snow. With accumulations up to five feet deep in areas, numerous roads became impossible for travel or deliveries.