By Chief Correspondent Rob Thomas
Storm Eunice is forecast to hit the UK in the early hours and while the strongest winds are likely to be in the west of the country, the amber weather warning covers the south coast.
The Met Office website states: “The most significant wind gusts are expected in the south and west of the UK, with an amber warning now in force here from the early hours of Friday morning.
“Exposed coastal areas could see wind gusts in excess of 95mph, while inland areas could still see gusts to around 80mph, bringing the potential for fallen trees, damage to buildings and travel disruption.”
Environment Agency Flood Duty Manager, Katherine Smith is quoted as saying: “Strong winds could bring coastal flooding to parts of the west, southwest and south coast of England. This is due to Storm Eunice resulting in high waves and potential storm surge coinciding with the start of a period of spring tides.”
Hampshire Highways on full alert
Preparations are underway in Hampshire with the highways teams having been put on full alert with the strongest winds expected between 9am and 3pm on Friday.
Councillor Russell Oppenheimer, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Highways Operations, said the, “highways teams are ready to work round the clock if needs be, with additional frontline resources on standby in order to keep Hampshire moving.
“They are braced to deal with the consequences from the expected gusts of wind up to 60-70 mph inland, and possibly up to 80 mph in exposed costal locations.
“In preparation, we will have extra specialist tree crews and emergency response gangs available, as well as drainage teams on standby should the strong wind be accompanied by heavy rain.
“Before setting out on a journey on Friday and over the weekend, I would ask that anyone checks the weather forecast and traffic information before they head off and consider if their journey is absolutely necessary.
“Anyone who must travel, is urged to please be prepared and drive according to the conditions.”
Contact in an emergency
Emergency issues on the roads can be reported to the county council by phoning: 0300 555 1388 (8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) or, outside of office hours, call 101.
Fallen trees can be reported online HERE.
Phone 999 if it is an emergency situation, where there is a danger to life.
Possible disruption on the railways
And there is potential disruption to rail services with South Western Railway already advising: “A speed restriction will be imposed across the whole network for most of Friday which will cause disruption to train services. We are currently making plans and will update you with more information as we have it.
“For the latest information and to check your journey please visit: southwesternrailway.com/disruption.”
Photograph (top): Amber weather warning for Friday, February 18. The Met Office