MOTORISTS are being urged to avoid Beaulieu tomorrow morning (Wednesday) as Storm Brendan sparks a flood warning.
The Environment Agency has advised of flooding in the area including Beaulieu estuary and the open coast between Thorns Beach and Needs Ore Point.
The red alert issued today says immediate action is required as Gale Force 8 southerly winds bring in a tide at 1.50am that is nearly two feet (69cm) higher than normal.
It said: “For one hour either side of high water, Palace Lane and the B3056 north of the Mill Pond will flood. Access to the village will be temporarily difficult while the main road is flooded.
“On the downstream side of the pond, the Mill House may be affected. After this tide‚ no further impacts are expected. We continue to monitor the forecast.
“To reduce flood risk to property, avoid driving through Beaulieu. Cars force water towards property, especially on the B3056. Flood water will be deep in roads and hard to see in the dark.”
The Environment Agency said it would remove the alert by midday tomorrow.
Less severe warnings for people to be prepared have also gone out for the Avon Valley and Christchurch, Milford and Lymington and the Waterside coast. No significant flooding is expected.
The advice adds to weather warnings by the Met Office for heavy wind and rain forecast to last from Monday until today.
It said: “Gusts of 40-50mph are expected quite widely inland, with exposed coasts and hills having gusts of around 60mph, perhaps locally 70mph.”
Hampshire County Council said its highways team are on “full alert” for Storm Brendan, and urged residents to take care when driving.
Cllr Rob Humby, HCC’s cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “With a yellow weather warning in place for wind gusts of up to 70mph, our highways teams are ready to work round the clock to keep the roads clear and Hampshire moving.
“We’ve already had an exceptionally wet autumn, and groundwater levels have been rising as a consequence. This means some areas will therefore be more vulnerable to surface water flooding.
“Similarly, strengthening winds combined with expected high tides in coastal areas will affect areas most vulnerable to tidal flooding.”
He added: “Our highways teams are ready with extra gully crews and emergency gangs on standby to help keep the roads clear of surface water.
“Heavily saturated ground means that trees are more susceptible to fall in strong winds or gusts so we will have extra tree crews available as well.”
Fallen trees on the highway can be reported on 0300 555 1388.