Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

County Council keeping Hampshire moving through wind, rain and ice

Friday, 31 January 2014

With the wettest January since records began and heavy rain and wind expected through the weekend, Hampshire County Council's highways teams are on high alert again.

The numbers of highways emergency and arboriculture teams have been increased from this afternoon throughout the weekend.

Main routes are also set to be salted regularly from tonight due to the added risk of freezing temperatures.

Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: "With more than twice as much rain as an average January already in the ground, the news that we are expecting another bout of heavy rainfall at the same time as high winds and lowering temperatures means we all have to be especially careful on the roads.

"Even though these are not the strongest winds we've seen this winter, trees are likely to fall as their roots are less stable in the saturated ground. Our tree crews will work on blocked roads in priority order, clearing the main A roads of any fallen trees or branches first.

"We will have extra crews working through the night and the weekend, with gully tankers to try to deal with any local flooding as far as possible. More rain means that ground water levels will rise again, particularly in areas of Hampshire near rivers. We will be doing all we can to get water off the roads, but with the ground already saturated, and many ditches and rivers already full, this will be difficult in places with nowhere for the water to go.

"With a return to overnight frosts, I would ask people to take particular care on the roads and pavements as the groundwater flowing onto the roads could freeze.

"I'd also ask drivers and cyclists to take extra care going through water as potholes may have formed underneath as the relentless cold, wet weather is likely to have a significant impact on road surfaces."

The County Council's Emergency Planning Team is also prepared and on standby, to support the emergency services and to assist those who need help with emergency situations that may arise as a consequence of the heavy rainfall.

People can report road problems online and tune in to BBC Radio Solent and other local radio stations for traffic reports. Advice on driving in winter conditions.

Advice on flooding can be found at www.hants.gov.uk/flooding and flood warnings can be found on the Environment Agency website.

Follow @Hantsconnect on Twitter for information on road salting, and check the online map to see which roads are which priority routes.

If anyone has concerns about any older or vulnerable people in their community during times of adverse weather, they should call: 0845 603 5630 or out of hours 0845 600 4555. Hampshire residents are asked to be good neighbours and check on anybody elderly or who may be vulnerable during this time.

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