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Emergency services on "full alert" for onslaught of Storm Eunice on Friday

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THE area's emergency services are on "full alert" ready for the onslaught of Storm Eunice on Friday, when winds of up to 100mph are expected to hit the south coast.

Hampshire County Council will have extra specialist tree crews and emergency response teams available, as well as drainage teams on standby should strong winds be accompanied by heavy rain.

Cllr Russell Oppenheimer, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for highways operations, said the authority was "braced to deal with the consequences" of the storm, which will affect much of England over the course of the day. The Met Office upgraded its weather warning from Yellow to Amber yesterday.

An Amber weather warning is in place for much of England
An Amber weather warning is in place for much of England

“Following the warning for this latest storm, our highways teams are ready to work round the clock if needs be, with additional frontline resources on standby in order to keep Hampshire moving," he said.

“Before setting out on a journey on Friday and over the weekend, I would ask that people check the weather forecast and traffic information before they head off and consider if their journey is absolutely necessary."

The Met Office warn of falling trees and damage to buildings (Photo: Hampshire police)
The Met Office warn of falling trees and damage to buildings (Photo: Hampshire police)

Emergency issues on the highway can be reported to the county council by calling 0300 555 1388

To report a fallen tree, go to https://www.hants.gov.uk/transport/roadmaintenance/roadproblems/treehedge

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to be vigilant against risks along the coast, where rockfalls and landslides are more likely in adverse weather.

"Take notice of signs and stay away from the edge and base of cliffs," said a spokesperson for the service. "Remember that the size and strength of waves is far greater during storm conditions, so stay away from the water’s edge and keep dogs on leads.

"Also, check tide times before you set off to avoid being cut off by incoming tides and be aware of mud flows extending across the beaches – don’t get stuck."

The Environment Agency has warned that a storm tidal surge of 50cm is likely in coastal areas.

The fire service is also advising drivers to be "extra vigilant" on the roads, which may be affected by surface water.

Group manager Stuart Gillion said: “Very often, surface water doesn’t appear very deep but there can be unseen dips in the road which then catch drivers unaware.

"There is also a risk of drivers in larger vehicles driving through water without dropping their speed, which then creates a ‘bow wave’ effect that can cause significant risks for other vehicles.

"While this stormy weather continues, please drive to the conditions and be particularly cautious at fords, where water levels can rise a lot in a short space of time.”

In an emergency situation, where there is a danger to life, call 999.

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