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Storm Eunice Red Warning Issued for South East – ‘Necessary Travel’ Only Advised

Published on: 17 Feb, 2022
Updated on: 18 Feb, 2022


By Martin Giles

The Met Office issued a new red warning at 4am this morning (February 18), this time covering London, the south-east of England and parts of the east of England. It comes into effect at 10am and will last until 3pm.

Here is what we can expect in the areas covered by a red warning:

  • Flying debris resulting in danger to life
  • Damage to buildings and homes
  • Roofs blown off and power lines brought down
  • Roads, bridges and railway lines closed
  • Cancellations and delays to bus, train, ferry services and flights
  • Power cuts

The earlier amber warning remains in place.

Rail Services

At 7.20 this morning the live departures board for Guildford was showing all the Reading to Gatwick line services cancelled but services to London running on time.

Severe weather warning to those travelling towards Guildford from Godalming yesterday evening (February 17).

‘Necessary Travel’ Only Advised As Storm Eunice Approaches

Yesterday National Highways advised drivers to take care and be prepared for strong gales tomorrow as Storm Eunice hits this morning, bringing strong wind and rain.

The Met Office had issued an amber weather warning for the South East.

Motorists, particularly those driving high-sided HGVS, caravans and motorcycles, are advised to check the weather and driving conditions before setting out on journeys and pay particular attention to exposed locations such as coastal and high lying areas and bridges which could be affected by the high winds.

Storm Eunice will bring a period of very strong winds that could cause significant disruption. It is anticipated that the South-East region may see gusts of 60-70 mph quite widely, with the potential for gusts as high as 80 mph on the South coasts and inland in exposed elevated areas. The highest of these winds in the region are expected to be experienced between 9am and 2pm.

National Highways Head of Service Delivery, Sean Martell, said: “We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys and consider if their journey is necessary and can be delayed until conditions improve. If you do intend to travel, then plan your trip and take extra care, allowing more time for your journey.

“In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down.

“Drivers of other vehicles should be aware of sudden gusts of wind which can affect handling and braking, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, and motorbikes plenty of space. In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow signed diversion routes.”

Unladen curtain-sided vehicles are particularly vulnerable to windy conditions on high ground and Sean Martell continued:   “Curtains on empty high-sided vehicles can act as sails when closed, and when high winds arise, we advise HGV drivers to open their curtain-sided vehicles if they are empty.”

HGV drivers are advised by the DVSA to check load security as part of their daily walkaround check. Further details of the walk around check can be found on GOV.UK.

Road users are being advised to follow messages on any overhead signs and listen to radio updates. Further information can be found by visiting  www.trafficengland.com or calling the National Highways Information Line on 0300 123 5000.

More advice on driving in windy weather is available from the met office

National Highways is advising drivers to pay attention to messages on the overhead electronic signs and listen for radio updates.

Further information can be found by visiting www.trafficengland.com, following @highwaysseast, @highwayseast and on Twitter or calling the National Highways England Line on 0300 123 5000. The latest weather forecast can be seen online at www.metoffice.gov.uk

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