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Clean up underway after gale force winds and heavy rain over night

Monday, 28 October 2013

In response to the heavy rain and very strong winds in the early hours this morning, Hampshire County Council has had extra teams working through the night to keep the county moving - clearing roads of fallen trees and tackling flooding.

Across the county, highways teams have been dealing with trees which have been uprooted, or branches that have fallen onto the road network as a result of high winds and heavy rain over night.

Around the County over 100 roads were partially or fully closed during the bad weather.

Arboriculture teams have been dealing with fallen trees on a priority basis and staff have also been dealing with local flooding issues and emptying gullies across the county.

Gusts widely between 60-70mph, locally exceeding 70mph at times and even in excess of 80mph near and just off the Hampshire coastline, were recorded first thing this morning.

The worst is now past with blustery showers expected to affect the county through much of the day before they largely die out later, to leave a mainly dry night with clear spells.

The focus is now on a clear up operation with priority to clear the blocked main road network.

Progress of the clear up operation on main routes:

The main A roads are for the most part clear and the crews are now being deployed to deal with the many reports of trees that have fallen on other parts of the network, with priority being given to the busier routes and where the road is the only access route. The debris will be collected later.

Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said: "I have only the highest praise for all County Council staff and staff from Amey our contractors who have been out in terrible conditions to keep Hampshire moving during, and after, one of the worst storms we have seen in a decade. It is a timely reminder to the public how crucial local government services are.

"Our highways teams, with additional support from extra tree crews, gully tankers and emergency response teams, have been working hard to help keep our highways clear for the morning rush hour, by dealing with fallen branches or trees and flooded roads. It could take up to three working days to completely clear all the debris and we are asking people to be patient.

"I would ask anyone who has to make a journey to take particular care in these conditions, driving with caution and at an appropriate speed and be patient and considerate to other road users. Sudden, very heavy downpours can lead to roads flooding quickly. Do not attempt to use fords and be extra careful driving through any road surface water as it may be difficult to judge its depth.

"Please be patient and considerate to other road users. Spare a thought too for cyclists and any pedestrians walking along the road side, so that they are not showered by puddle water thrown up from the road by moving vehicles. Be aware too, for the additional hazard of fallen leaves making roads and pavements extra slippery, and also causing drains to become blocked. It is also advisable for people to check over their property today to assess any damage, and to check on any vulnerable neighbours and their property, to ensure that everything is in good order."

To report an incident on the road we are asking people to report incidences on Hampshire's roads online or by calling 0845 603 5633.

Travel advice

People can keep updated on roads affected by severe weather by checking ROMANSE online at romanse.org.uk or following them on Twitter @ROMANSE. Alternatively tune in to BBC Radio Solent and other local radio stations for traffic reports. Also, information will be regularly updated on twitter @hantspolice @hantsconnect @hants_fire

Non emergency flooding on Hampshire Highways can be reported online or by calling 0845 603 5633 during office hours.

Flooding information can also be found online from the Environment Agency.

If anyone has concerns about any older or vulnerable people in their community during times of adverse weather, they should call: 0845 603 5630.

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