By Chief Correspondent Rob Thomas
RESIDENTS had to be evacuated when the high winds of Storm Eunice caused extensive damage to the roof of a block of flats in Howe Road, Gosport.
Police were called to the scene at 11.27 today and together with a fire crew helped people to leave the building.
There were no reported casualties but the road remains closed because the roof is hanging dangerously off the front of the block.
It was reported that the residents were taken to a local school but Gosport Borough Council has not as yet provided further details of how the people will be cared for.
Elsewhere, the storm caused major disruption in the borough with Stokes Bay Road closed and bus services suspended. The Grange Road Household Waste Recycling Centre, parks and Anns Hill Cemetery were also closed.
Trees brought down across the county
Fallen trees have been a major problem across Hampshire.
The councillor responsible for Highways Operations at the County Council, Russell Oppenheimer, said after the storm had passed: “The volume of reports of issues on our roads has been unprecedented. On the day of Storm Eunice, we have received over 1,000 reports of issues on our roads – double what would normally be expected for a typical weather event.
“By 5pm this evening, our highways crews had dealt with well over 600 tree related issues across the county.
“However, we do not yet know the full picture. The impact of the very high winds has been felt keenly across the county and highways crews have found that in attending a report of a road blocked by a fallen tree, they often encountered numerous other tree falls on the way, adding extra work and some delay as a result.”
And to add to the difficulties on the county’s roads, the road temperature is expected to fall to zero overnight and although gritting lorries will be out, their operations may well be hampered by fallen trees which have yet to be cleared.
The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for the south coast area tomorrow – Saturday, February 19 – starting at 6am and lasting all day until 6pm.
It states that more strong winds are expected and this could mean the closure of some roads and bridges, and it may hamper clearing up the damage caused by Storm Eunice.
Photograph (top): the roof hangs off the block of flats in Howe Road. Kevin Richards
Inset (video): Howe Road with the police on the scene and Howe Road closed. Kevin Richards