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South coast in path of storm St Jude and its 80mph winds
Updated 11:38pm Sunday 27th October 2013 in News
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- Hampshire prepares for hurricane force storm
- Winds of 80mph predicted
- Emergency services issue warning to residents
- Transport bosses predict travel chaos
- Prime Minister holds emergency talks
TRAINS suspended between Southampton and Swanwick stations due to a fallen tree on the line.
Chris Burton, forecaster with MeteoGroup, said:
''We've had heavy rain across the South. While the rain moves away the gusts will pick up and spread eastwards. The highest winds will be towards the early hours of the morning.''
The storm is expected to move out over the North Sea by late morning, leaving strong breezes in its wake.
The Environment Agency has issued three flood warnings - where flooding is expected - in the South West, and 128 flood alerts - where flooding is possible - across the whole of England and Wales.
Rescue teams, including a coastguard helicopter and a RNLI lifeboat, scoured the area in what were described as ''atrocious conditions'' with poor visibility.
Tonight, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said the operation had now become one of search and recovery.
The teenager was playing with friends when the incident occurred. They were not swept off and are safe.
A 14-year-old boy is feared dead after being swept into the sea while playing in the surf in rough weather conditions.
The unidentified youngster disappeared from West Beach at Newhaven, East Sussex, at about 4.15pm this afternoon.
STANDING water is beginning to build up on roads in Southampton.
Reports of floodwater in the Winchester Road area of Shirley.
The resuce attempt for a 14-year-old boy in West Sussex has been called off.
Solent Coastguard were among those helping the RNLI search fot the boy who was swept away in rough seas off Newhaven.
SCORES of people are gathering at the waterside in Milford on Sea to watch the wind whipping across the ocean.
The storm is set to hit soon after midnight but winds are already growing in intensity accross the county.
FLIGHTS from Gatwick, Stansted and Luton airports are running as normal.
But airport chiefs urged passengers to keep up to date with the status of their flights, although there were no cancellations by 7.30pm tonight.
A Bristol Airport spokesman wrote on Twitter: ''All flights currently operating and passengers advised to check in as normal - but please allow extra time for your journey.''
AROUND 60 flights have been cancelled at Heathrow Airport tomorrow as the storm approaches.
An airport spokesman said the cancellations were made to give passengers advanced information about their flights ahead of the expected disruption caused by strong winds and heavy rain.
He added: ''Following consultation between the Met Office, air traffic control and airlines, all parties have agreed to reduce the number of flights operating tomorrow to ensure the safety of passengers and employees,'' the spokesman said.
Approximately 30 flights will be cancelled from 6-11am, 20 from 11am-4pm and 10 from 4-10.30pm.
The cancellations are a combination of arrivals and departures.
British Airways said it would cancel some short-haul flights but hoped long-haul services in and out of the airport would continue as normal.
FLOODWATER is beginning to gather under a Southampton fly-over after lashing rain hit the city tonight.
Motorists approaching the Millbrook fly-over are being warned to take care while driving through six inches of water collecting under the carriageway.
Bosses at Southampton Airport have warned passnegers to allow extra time when travelling to the airport tomorrow due to predicted transport delays.
Highways Agency crisis management co-ordinator Martin Hobbs said: ''We are working closely with the Met Office to monitor conditions, plan according to the forecast and respond to severe weather.
''Drivers are encouraged to think carefully before setting off as driving conditions are expected to be difficult overnight and on Monday.
''If you do have to make a journey by road be prepared, plan your journey in advance and check the latest weather and traffic conditions along your route.''
A NUMBER of major transport routes have been closed as St Jude looms.
The M48 suspension bridge (Severn crossing) has been closed to all traffic while the second crossing on the M4 will close from 3am tomorrow.
The Highways Agency said the Queen Elizabeth II bridge on the M25, which forms part of the Dartford River Crossing between Essex and Kent, was expected to close in the very early hours of Monday morning.
However, the tunnel part of the crossing is expected to remain open and will operate in contraflow (one tunnel running in each direction) to allow traffic to still get across the Thames.
The Sheppey crossing in Kent, which carries the A249 to the Isle of Sheppey, was closed earlier today.
Solent watch manager Steve Mann said: ''This weekend we have been expecting hurricane-force winds and we are urging people to take extra care.
''The crashing waves are spectacular to watch but also extremely dangerous. HM Coastguard's advice is simple: don't take risks.
''But if you do get into difficulty, or spot someone who might be in trouble, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.''
Solent Coastguard are involved in the search for the 14-year-old in Sussex.
British Airways (BA) said it has cancelled a number of short-haul flights at the request of London Heathrow due to the expected storm.
A BA spokesman was unable to confirm the number of cancellations but said there would be a 20% reduction in its schedule from 6-11am tomorrow, 10% from 11am-4pm and 5% from 4pm to 10.30pm.
The airline said it hoped to operate long-haul flights in and out of the airport as normal, but warned there could be some delays due to the storm.
A windsurfer takes advantage of the waves at Calshot this afternoon.
Police in Sussex said the missing teenager got into difficulty at about 4.15pm while swimming with friends near the shore at West Beach, Newhaven.
A spokesman said: ''This is a very distressing incident and everything possible is being done to try to find the boy.
''Meanwhile, all agencies remind people of the dangers of being at seashores in adverse weather, especially in view of the approaching severe weather conditions overnight. The advice is straightforward - stay clear.''
RT @RF_Travel_News: If travelling to @redfunnel tomorrow please take care & also follow @ROMANSE & @IslandRoads for the very latest travel …— @RedFunnel 27 October 2013
Bosses at Manor Farm Country Park at Bursledon have revealed it has now closed and will remain so until safety checks have been carried out after the storm.
Jan and Brent Christie face the weather at Hill Head earlier today.
The storm is coming,, stay safe, keep out door pets inside, don't drive unless you have to, stay safe surrey & Sw London & Hampshire— @RockinRicky1 27 October 2013
A major search is underway in Sussex tonight after a 14-year-old boy is swept out to sea at Newhaven.
PASSENGERS on board the Adventure of the Seas will need their sea legs when the impending storm hits.
The ship has just left the port embarking on a transatlantic cruise and is due to reach Madeira in Portugal on Thursday.
It will then go to St Kitts, the US Virgin Islands, before finishing in Puerto Rico.
On the car ferry on my way back to Southampton before the storm hits! I'm expecting this to be a bumpy ride! :-/— @laura_marieee 27 October 2013
The high winds caused an 89ft wind turbine to blow over in a field a near Teignmouth, Devon.
And it also saw firefighters dismantle a smaller turbine from the roof of a house in Ilfracombe - which was in ''in a precarious position''.
Meanwhile in nearby Cornwall, a family of four escaped unhurt after a tree hit their house.
Two children and their parents were sleeping when the tree crashed through the roof of their house in Camborne.
Crown Princess in Southampton tonight.
The ship could be moored in Southampton until at least Monday night.
The cruise is scheduled to visit Vigo in Spain, Lisbon in Portgual, Azores, and the Bermuda Islands, before ending in Fort Lauderdale, USA.
A revised itinerary has not been scheduled so far.
CRUISE ship the Crown Princess has been forced to stay in Southampton as the storm approaches.
The vessel was due to sail from the city to Le Harve at 4.30pm but strong winds and choppy waters means its scheduled sailing has been postponed.
Here's the latest Met Office video
London overground services have also just reported that it wil not be running any services until at least 9am tomorrow.
It also appears that one of the cruise ships due to leave Southampton tonight is staying in the port.
The Met Office's chief forecaster Nick Grahame has just released a video explaining how the storm will develop.
We'll try to get that on line shortly.
4:36pm Sun 27 Oct 13
It's a storm and nothing more. It will be wet, it will be windy, there will probably be some damage and travel delays in the morning. But we've had storms before and we will have storms in the future. So why all this hype?
Please avoid using the roads tonight. Chill out instead, put your feet up & have a cheeky cuppa! #StormIsOnItsWay— @BitternePolice 27 October 2013
@metoffice I'm driving down the m27 from Southampton to work in Pompey at midnight, will the storm have hit by then? Thanks.— @AlexDrakey 27 October 2013
The incident happened east bound near Rufus Stone blocking the inside lane while Highways Agency staff cut the tree back.
Drivers on the A31 across the New Forest were hit by delays when a tree started to lean dangerously across the road.
The first tree of the storm seems have fallen.
The police advice continues:
• Ensure you have a torch available with spare batteries and a fully charged mobile phone
• Think carefully before you travel. Driving conditions are expected to be difficult this evening, overnight and tomorrow morning - if you do need to travel by road, plan your journey in advance and check the latest weather and driving conditions before you set out
• When on the road, be aware of sudden gusts of wind, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space
• Dial 101 when contacting police when it's not an emergency.
Calling 999 when it is not an emergency can reduce our effectiveness at dealing with genuine emergencies
In preparation for the expected strong winds, Hampshire Police say that residents should:
• Secure loose outdoor items such as garden furniture or ladders; and bring in as many items as possible that are lying around outside
• Securely fasten doors, windows, loft trapdoors and storm shutters
• Vehicles should be parked in the garage, if available; otherwise they should be kept clear of buildings, trees, walls and fences
The statement adds that winds are expected to reach speeds of 60mph to 70mph and possibly even 80mph on exposed coasts and headlands.
• In addition to the winds, heavy rain is forecast overnight tonight which could lead to localised surface water flooding, particularly when drainage systems may be blocked by wind-blown debris.
Gale-force winds could have a significant impact including the risk of:
• Falling trees
• Damage to building and other structures
• Flying debris
• Disruption to transport
• Disruption to power supplies
• Surface water flooding.
It says: "Police are issuing advice and guidance to residents in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight as the two counties are expected to be hit by strong winds between midnight and 9am on Monday, October 28.
"The Met Office has issued an amber wind warning for the South East of England including Hampshire."
Hampshire Police have just released a press release warning that a storm is approaching.
Don't forget to get your copy of tomorrow's Daily Echo for a picture special of all the fun at Titchfield Carnival.
Villages carried out with their popular annual carnival regardless of the weather warnings and had a fun afternoon as this photograph shows.
Despite all the weather misery there was no doom and gloom in Titchfield this afternoon.
St Jude, whose name has been given to the storm expected to hit England and Wales tonight and tomorrow, has been described as the saint to call on in seemingly impossible situations.
In the Roman Catholic Church he is the patron saint of lost causes and his feast day is tomorrow.
Jude was one of Jesus's 12 apostles chosen to spread the gospel.
Also known as Thaddeus, he is said to have been born into a Jewish family in Palestine and, according to legend, he brought Christianity to Armenia.
The ancient St Thaddeus Monastery still exists in what is now northern Iran.
In the US he is the patron saint of the Chicago Police Department and a children's research hospital in Memphis, Tennessee is named after him.
He is also the patron saint of the Flamengo football team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
First dramatic pictures of storm damage in Southampton ... http://t.co/T7zFfq8z9d— @davehayescrew 27 October 2013
County council transport boss Sean Woodward, pictured, said: "As Monday will be the first day of the school half term holidays we would expect slightly less traffic than usual but 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."
He added: "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."
The countys Community Safety Officers will be on hand to provide extra man power if required;.
Adult Services has a community response team ready to assist the most vulnerable if needed while property services have arboricultural teams and building maintenance staff in standby to monitor council buildings.
The county council has extra staff on stand by.
Highways emergency response teams have extra crews on standby ready to be mobilised for dealing with fallen branches or trees on the highway, flooded roads and blocked drains. Local highway offices are planning to open in the early hours of Monday morning to support any recovery efforts.
With trees still in leaf and wet ground there is clearly an increased likelihood of falling trees. Likewise those leaves that are already on the ground may cause localised flooding by blocking gullies and outflows.
Residents in these areas are advised to plan accordingly for potential disruption.
- Secure loose outdoor items such as garden furniture or ladders; and bring in as many items as possible that are lying around outside.
- Securely fasten doors, windows, loft trapdoors and storm shutters.
- Window sills should be cleared and curtains be drawn to protect against flying glass.
- Vehicles should be parked in the garage, if available; otherwise they should be kept clear of buildings, trees, walls and fences.
Hampshire County Council is issuing advice and guidance to residents ahead fo the storm.
The Sea Birds and Waders Walk at Keyhaven Marshes will now take place at 10.15am on Thursday, 31 October, from Keyhaven car park.
The Nature Walk at Ashurst will now start at 2pm on Thursday, 31 October, outside Ashurst rail station.
Two New Forest Walking Festival guided walks due to take place on Monday have had to be postponed after the storm warning.
The guided walks at Keyhaven Marshes and Ashurst due to take place on Monday have now both been moved to Thursday.
2:49pm Sun 27 Oct 13
Weather in Thornhill has calmed down a bit now though it seems a few communal TV aerials have been blown out of alignment on some of the blocks of flats.
The torrential rain and wind in the west of Southampton earlier must just have been Jude's warm up act - still, it was pretty wet though as this video shows.
2:29pm Sun 27 Oct 13
Jude hasn't hit yet, we'd know if it had as there would be MUCH more wind and rain.
Home insurers were bracing themselves for the prospect of a high number of storm damage claims.
Rob Townend, claims director at Aviva, said: ''We have drafted in extra staff into our contact centres so we are poised and ready to help all those who might need us if the worst happens.''
The Environment Agency has teams working to minimise river flood risk, clearing debris from streams and unblocking culverts, and are closely monitoring water levels so they are ready to issue flood warnings if necessary.
@metoffice @SkyNews Large tree down opposite SouthDowns College, Hampshire #StJude #storm— @DollyVegas 27 October 2013
Getting very blustery in Hampshire now.....and very overcast, got to work till 10pm not looking forward to it when it gets worse :( #Storm— @pdarcy10 27 October 2013
It seems Storm Jude may have hit Southampton already.
Reporter Rory McKeown has just filmed this outside the Echo office.
The statement went on: "Maintenance teams are checking high-risk sites to carry out work to reduce the impact from flooding and fallen trees.
"Extra staff are also being deployed at key locations across the network to help keep trains running. Test trains will run from early in the morning to check routes are safe to operate.
"Similar contingency arrangements have been put in place by other train operators across the south of England."
The company said the majority of services were not expected to run until at least 0800.
It added: "Across the network, trains will run at a maximum of 50mph as a safety measure in case of obstructions on the tracks. This will result in extended journey times on services.
The train company has just issued a stament which says:
- Reduced services on many rail networks due to forecast high winds and heavy rain
- Amended South West Trains timetable on Monday 28 October
- Some trains in west of network to operate at reduced speed from late this evening
- Extra staff deployed at key locations across network to maintain safety on rail network
- Customers advised to check the latest travel information and allow extra time for journeys
South West Trains has just updated its advice to passengers.
It is urging people not to travel tomorrow.
The Prime Minister chaired a conference call with various Government departments and agencies this morning on plans to protect people from the storm.
Transport ministers, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Cabinet Office updated Mr Cameron on preparations and contingency plans for transport, local authorities, schools, health and power supplies.
He was told that the storm could have a widespread impact but plans were in place to respond.
Southampton Airport has just issued a warning to all passengers to check with airlines due to predicted weather tomorrow.
Hovertravel have also suspended crossing from Ryde to Southsea.
Condor have cancelled all fast services out of ports in Dorset.
Atlantic storms of this type usually develop further west across the ocean, losing strength by the time they reach the UK and Ireland.
But this is expected to appear much closer to land, potentially moving across the country while in its most powerful phase.
A strong jet stream and warm air close to the UK are contributing to its development and strength.
Here's a video of the Met Office warning that a severe storm was on its way.
It added: “Our maintenance teams are visiting our high-risk sites over the weekend to carry out mitigation work for both flooding and fallen trees. We have also arranged for additional staff to be present across the network at key locations.
“All areas of our network are subject to these conditions with the highest risk areas being on the lines between Weymouth and Basingstoke via Southampton and between Portsmouth and Guildford.”
“The risk of falling trees as well as damage to buildings and equipment is high. These conditions present risks to the railway from localised flooding, fallen trees and debris on the tracks," said a statement from SWT.
For those commuting in the morning South West Trains is warning you to be prepared for major disruption.
Gusts of 115 mph were recorded during the Great Storm of 1987, when 18 people died and thousands of homes were without power for several days.
It caused damage similar to that pictured below.
The Met Office has issued an amber warning, meaning ''be prepared'', for the southern half of England and the southern half of Wales.
It gave a lesser yellow warning, meaning ''be aware'', for the rest of Wales and England up to the border with Scotland.
The Met Office has released its latest estiomate for the track of the storm.
The Met Office described the storm as not one ''you would see every year'', and said the expected wind strengths would be similar to storms in March 2008, January 2007 and October 2000.
Heavy rain will accompany it, with strong winds in the early hours of tomorrow, but the storm is expected to have moved out over the North Sea by lunchtime, leaving strong breezes in its wake.
Portsmouth City Council has issued a seafront exclusion zone from 3pm due to the weather.
Insurance companies have advised households to take steps to protect themselves and their property.
Direct Line said people should establish evacuation plans, place valuable items upstairs to limit flood damage and ensure gutters are clear so water can drain away.
Due to flooding we could see a repeat of scenes like this.
Surface water floods could strike much of England as the Met Office predicts 2-4cm of rain could fall within six to nine hours overnight.
Steve Willington, chief forecaster at the Met Office said: “'This is a developing situation and we'd advise people to stay up to date with our forecasts and warnings over the weekend, and be prepared to change their plans if necessary.
"We'll continue to work closely with authorities and emergency services to ensure they are aware of the expected conditions.''
This picture from Echo photographer Stuart Martin shows spectators at the Great South run wrapped up against the elements.
The wind across the south is beginning to pick up.
The AA is urging people to take sensible precautions and be prepared to delay or change their travel plans tomorrow morning with the St Jude storm on its way.
The storm has been named St Jude after the patron saint of lost causes, whose feast day is tomorrow.
It will develop over the Atlantic and is expected to hit the South West late tonight, before moving north-eastwards across England and southern Wales.
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