Goodbye Storm Ciara, hello Storm Dennis – new weather warning issued

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A tree blocked the A35 on Monday afternoon (Photo: Colin Bower)

THERE will be no let-up in the weather this weekend with Storm Dennis forecast to sweep through the New Forest and Christchurch hot on the heels of Storm Ciara.

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Today (Tuesday) the Met Office issued a lowest-level yellow warning of heavy rain and strong winds of up to 70mph for the whole of Saturday and Sunday morning, affecting most of England and Wales.

The public was alerted to the small chance of flying debris posing a danger to life, damage to buildings, and disruption to transport by road, rail, air and sea. Flooding was also a risk.

There is also the possibility of cuts to power and mobile phone reception, as well as coastal communities being threatened by large waves and material thrown onto sea fronts.

Storm Dennis
Heavy wind and rain are forecast for Saturday and Sunday morning

The Met Office said: “Very strong winds in association with Storm Dennis are expected on Saturday across many parts of England and Wales.

“Gusts of 50mph are expected widely inland, with around 60mph in places. Around the coasts, especially in the west and south, gusts of 60-70mph are likely. This will be accompanied by heavy rain at times.”

It added: “Accumulations of 15 to 30mm [of rain] are expected widely, with 50 to 70mm across parts of the higher ground in the west. This rain is expected to fall across areas already wet from recent rainfall.”

As reported in the A&T, on Sunday Storm Ciara hit the region after an amber warning by the Met Office, the second highest level.

On Monday the winds relented slightly but stayed strong enough to cancel Christchurch’s weekly market. During the afternoon the A35 was also blocked by a fallen tree in both directions between Lyndhurst and Holmsley.

According to the Met Office, the Needles off the Isle of Wight experienced the strongest winds with a gust of 97mph measured.

Tree down in Milford

Businesses and homes in Milford were left without electricity this morning (Tuesday) as Southern Electricity Network (SEN) carried out emergency repairs after a fallen tree damaged power lines.

The tree, which was brought down by strong winds at around 6pm on Monday evening, blocked the B3058 Lymington Road between Lytton Lawn Touring Park and the South Lawns Hotel.

SEN said at midday that nearly 90 customers were affected and it anticipated power being restored by about 2.30pm.

A spokesperson for the South Lawns Hotel said: “We have been affected by a loss of some power but luckily we have more than one phase in so we have been able to stay open. We have been looking after our guests very well, it is just harder work for the staff.”

Traffic lights outside Milford School were left without power, and parts of the school building were also affected.

A message was sent to parents at 7.42am warning: “Please be aware that due to a power shortage the school has reduced power. Classrooms are fine but the main office is closed.”

A pre-school operating within the school grounds was also forced to shut for health and safety reasons after it was left without power – cutting heating and emergency exit access.

Yesterday in the area the A35 was closed between Holmsley and Lyndhurst on Monday afternoon after it was blocked by a tree that came down at around 3pm. A further tree fall was reported at Brook leading to the closure of the B3079 for several hours.

The fire service were also called to help a motorist in Hythe who became trapped in their vehicle after attempting to cross tidal flood water.

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