Storm Barney Hits ‘Harry Potter’ Prequel Set

Storm Barney not only caused power outages in thousands of residential homes in Wales and southern and eastern England, the set of the Harry Potter prequel — Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them — received heavy damage as a result as well. Filming came to a halt Tuesday on the Warner Bros. project when several hundred cast and crew members were evacuated from the set in Leavesden, Hertfordshire. This is the second storm in the United Kingdom reportedly strong enough to be given a name, the first being Storm Abigail. With winds reaching up to 85mph, a massive green screen was severely damaged and ripped apart.

Although Storm Barney was able to put a hold on the production of the film, the Mirror reports that filming was able to continue Wednesday. Along with the damage that was done to the Harry Potter spinoff set, additional damage and complications occurred all across Britain. BBC News reports that the Met Office is predicting that Wednesday will see more powerful winds of up to 70mph in southern and central Scotland, northern England, and sections of Northern Ireland. Neil Davies, the flood risk manager for the Environment Agency, warns that people should not be taking “storm selfies.”

“The power of Mother Nature is a fascination to us all — and taking storm selfies may seem exhilarating — but over the last few years we’ve had an increasing number of people putting themselves at severe risk along coastal paths and promenades.”

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), along with the Environment Agency, have issued a “selfie” warning, pleading that anyone taking pictures in front of or very close to these storms or any severe weather should not be doing so. This risky trend first began to catch on in 2013, when social media sites began gathering images of people posing in or near storms. RoSPA’s leisure safety manager David Walker strongly warns against it, according to the Sun.

“We understand the temptation to view powerful tides and weather conditions, however, if you get caught up or swept out to sea in these events your life will be at risk very quickly and our rescue services will also be at great risk.”

In Birmingham, a metal advertising tower at the Fort Shopping Park came crashing down due to the severe wind, although no one was hurt. The route between London Liverpool Street and Stansted airport was delayed for roughly one hour after a fallen tree near Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire caused delays of about an hour on the route between London Liverpool Street and Stansted airport, resulting in the buses being laid on as an alternative. Other rail services in London, Bedford, and other cities were struck by trees that had been blown onto overhead power cables and lines. Delays and cancellations occurred for flights to Dublin, Cork, and Shannon airports, with several ferries to and from Wales were cancelled due to Storm Barney.

Last week, the Met Office issued a yellow warning for Storm Abigail in North Scotland. The Highlands and Islands saw the worst of it when they were hit with wind gusts of up to 84mph. Thundery showers covered the rest of the United Kingdom.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be a trilogy, with the first installment, starring Eddie Redmayne, released worldwide in 3D and IMAX on November 18, 2016.

[Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images]