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Live weather and travel updates as Hampshire prepares for Christmas travel
This live event has finished
- Road and rail disruption caused by a number of fallen trees
- Localised flooding also causing problems
- Strong winds affecting flights from Southampton Airport
- Double decker buses not travelling over Itchen Bridge
We are now closing our live blog. Thank you for reading.
More updates to follow tomorrow morning.
The Environment Agency has issued flood alerts for the River Lymington including Brockenhurst and the Isle of Wight coast.
The "be prepared" warnings were issued tonight as the heavy rainfall and lashing winds continue to sweep across the county.
Flood warnings and advice can be found on the Environment Agency website at: http://t.co/v11nL4eOiL or call Floodline on 0845 988 1188— @hantsconnect 23 December 2013
A TREE has come crashing down in Lordshill Way in Southampton.
The road is blocked in both directions close to Woburn Road and police are on the scene.
@Portchester28. Hants fire crews very busy dealing with floods, dangerous structures & rescues. Unless yr journey is vital dont take risk— @Portchester28 23 December 2013
AN elderly motorist had to be rescued by firefighters after getting stranded in floodwater on a country road tonight.
His car became stuck in water in Ranvilles Lane in Stubbington shortly after 8.30pm.
Crews from Fareham and Portchester fire stations arrived to rescue him.
A Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson warned people not to risk driving through floodwater if they were unaware of the depth.
MISSING woman Anne Marie Sanges has been found safe and well.
TRAINS will start running later in Hampshire tomorrow to allow for safety checks following the storm.
South West Trains is delaying its services until 7.30am on most routes to enable engineers to check lines are safe to run passenger services.
Around 35 trees have fallen onto the line today and there is flooding at several locations across the network, while power supply problems have also affected signalling.
Further extreme weather is expected later this evening and in the early hours of Christmas Eve.
Extra staff will be drafted in at major stations to provide assistance and they operate more flexible ticketing today and tomorrow to enable people to change their travel times if needed.
A South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance spokesman said: "Weather forecasters expect the worst of the extreme conditions to be over by the early hours of the morning, allowing us to run trains that check the lines are safe for passenger services.
“We would like to thank customers for their patience while we carry out this essential work, which will mean a later start than normal for our services.
"We are confident that we will be able to get all of our passengers where they want to be on our network so they can spend Christmas with family and friends."
See southwesttrains.co.uk or follow @SW_Trains on Twitter to check the latest travel news.
Trees down Lyndhurst at Swan Green and A35 between Ashurst and Lyndhurst. Please take care as roads are also extremely wet and flooded— @LymingtonCops 23 December 2013
So many people working hard to keep transport moving shops open and us all safe. Merry Christmas to you all and thank you for what you do.— @Jacwee67 23 December 2013
FEARS are growing for a vulnerable woman who disappeared from her home as the storms advanced on Hampshire.
Anne Marie Sanges was last seen at 9.30am at a bus stop close to her home in Merdon Avenue, Chandler’s Ford.
Ms Sanges, who has mobility problems, has already missed some doses of medication and is thought not to be wearing warm winter clothing to protect her from the weather.
She knows Southampton and Eastleigh well but also has links to Salisbury. She left without a phone, money or bank cards.
She is described as white, 5ft 1in, of large build with short brown wavy hair and was last seen wearing a blue jumper and blue trousers.
Call police on 101.
SOUTHAMPTON Airport has announced it is expecting flights to be operating as normal tomorrow.
But staff warns there could be some disruption as operations return to normal following the severe weather today.
A tree blocking the railway line at Chandlers Ford has been cleared.
But South West Trains is continuing running a reduced speed service because of the flooding.
A fallen tree has also been removed from the Basingstoke area allowing trains to reach Winchester.
THE A334 in Hampshire is blocked in both directions after a tree falling near Shedfield.
It is blocking the road near Church Road close to Shedfield Equestrian on the route between Hedge End and Wickham.
Traffic is queueing in both directions.
ALL flights from Southampton Airport have now been suspended for the rest of the day.
MORE than 17,000 homes in Hampshire have been plunged into darkness in power cuts caused by the storm.
Southern Electric Power Distribution (SEPD) is working to restore services to homes which include 3,000 properties in the New Forest.
A spokesman said: "Engineers are making good progress, restoring supplies in several areas as the wind has abated for the time being. Repairs will continue throughout the evening and we aim to have the majority of customers’ power restored tonight. It is anticipated that further strong winds and rain will affect the region overnight and this may cause further damage to the network."
Anyone who experiences a loss of electricity supply is urged to contact the team on 0800 072 7282 particularly if reporting damage or aware of a neighbours or friends who may need extra help.
Thanks for RTs/reports today. Back from 7am when hopefully the motion sickness caused by our CCTV blowing in the wind has gone. Drive safe!— @ROMANSE 23 December 2013
Crews at work in Saville Gdns Fareham making scene safe after large tree fell onto house.Hants fire crews busy http://t.co/0Jk9N65rRO— @Portchester28 23 December 2013
This photo is of a tree that has come down in Lymington going towards the Tests car park and library, from Echo reader Scott Blake.
High winds brought a tree crashing down on a home in Fareham.
It fell onto the front and side of a property in Saville Gardens shortly after 3.30pm.
Mercifully no one was injured or trapped.
Crews from Portcheser and Hightown fire stations used tools to help cut away the tree which had dragged some sheeting down from the roof.
A tree also crashed onto a bungalow in Cerne Close, North Baddersley, at 4pm but no one was in at the time.
A crew from Eastleigh helped remove belongings from the house.
Earlier crews from Redbrifge cordoned off the pavement below a four storey building in Old Redbridge Road after reports of loose roof tiles, while their coleageues from Fareham and Wickham helped secure an unstable marquee in Funtley, Fareham.
All @flybe flights have been suspended for the rest of today, please contact Flybe for more information: http://t.co/u5vs11mXCg— @SOU_Airport 23 December 2013
A Southampton Airport spokeswoman said: “Southampton Airport is open but flights are currently temporarily suspended due to high winds. Further information will be issued in due course."
Portsmouth Road; Busy inbound approaching toll booths, Itchen Bridge.— @scchighways 23 December 2013
Crews from High town fire station were called out to Whiteley earlier today after a tree fell onto power lines and brought them down.
#M27 #WHITELEY - Traffic lights not working on J9 eastbound offslip. Queue on offslip and slow approaching J9 on M27 eastbnd. Use caution.— @ROMANSE 23 December 2013
Cannot describe how bad the weather is here at St Mary's. Genuinely think the stadium could blow away. #UKStorm— @Tom_SFCMedia 23 December 2013
At least 900 homes in the New Forest have been hit by power cuts this afternoon.
Engineers from Scottish and Southern Electric (SSE) are desperately working to restore supplies to the stricken properties which lost power shortly after 3pm.
A spokesman said the company had initially drafted in extra staff in anticipation of the adverse weather and said: “We are trying our hardest to get power back on.”
The firm has also deployed extra staff to man its 24hour emergency telephone centre and he urged anyone with concerns, or who spots trees or branches in danger of falling onto power lines to call them on 08000 72 72 82.
#StormSWT - All routes experiencing major disruption. http://t.co/wVwXDoC0MY Advice is only travel if urgent. Please RT— @SW_Trains 23 December 2013
Gusts of up to 90mph have been recorded at The Needles this afternoon.
Fallen tree blocking Bursldeon Road by Antelope Park. Units on scene. Delays expected. Please be patient & avoid area if possible.
2 fallen trees bursledon road blocking both directions. Please avoid area. Units on scene, diversions in place @ROMANSE @HantsPolice— @BitternePolice 23 December 2013
Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “We are prepared for some strong winds and heavy rainfall.
"Our highways teams are ready, with additional support from extra gully tankers, emergency response teams and tree crews on stand-by to help keep Hampshire moving, by dealing with flooding and fallen trees on the roads throughout today and the night. We anticipate that our highways teams will be busy tomorrow clearing up after the storm.
“Fortunately, with the schools already finished for Christmas, there is generally less traffic on the roads but I would ask everyone to take particular care if they are travelling in these conditions.
"Sudden, very heavy downpours can lead to roads and pavements flooding quickly. Please heed any warning signs that are placed on the highway. 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.”
Hampshire County Council’s Highways Team are poised for a busy night.
They anticipate the windsa peaking at 10pm tonight and are on standby to deal with any problems on the roads.
#M3 & #M275 free flowing. #M27 is busy but flowing J11-J8 westbound - drive carefully over the Hamble bridge. #M271 short delay southbound.— @ROMANSE 23 December 2013
The Lyndhurst - Ashurst road has now been cleared but be aware there are several deep puddles across the road at various points.
Pump mobalised to Saville Gdns Fareham. Make pumps 2 for manpower. Large tree fallen onto house. Crews making scene safe .#strongwinds— @Portchester28 23 December 2013
All services at Southampton Central are currently delayed.
Trains to Bournemouth are delayed by as much as one-and-a-half hours, and services between Southampton and Cardiff are delayed due to a fallen tree on the line.
The rail service has been suspended on First Great Western between Romsey and Salisbury due to flooding.
Southampton Airport is open but facing delays due to high winds.
Please if you're driving remember to; slow down, put your lights on & keep your distance #SaferRoads— @BitternePolice 23 December 2013
Reader Kerry Anne Davies sent us this picture via our Facebook page of a tree blocking Park Lane in Marchwood.
Big tree down in Romsey Road West Wellow, being cleared now— @carolinenokes 23 December 2013
Reader Lou Simmonds has sent us this photo of a tree that has come down in Witts Hill in Midanbury.
At Southampton Central, one passenger has told the Daily Echo's Michael Carr that he had to wait one-and-a-half hours for a train to make the 15 minute journey to Brockenhurst.
Meanwhile, measurements at Hurst Castle shows a gust of 75 knots.
The New Forest National Park Authority have just told us that there is a tree down on the Ashurst to Lyndhurst Road, completely blocking the road.
Redbridge Road; Busy outbound approaching Redbridge Rdbt and flyover. Millbrook Road West; Busy outbound approaching Redbridge Road.— @scchighways 23 December 2013
There's a fallen tree partially blocking the B3035 (Botley Road) in West End, near the Ageas Bowl.
A police officer in the New Forest had a lucky escape as they were trying to clear a fallen tree.
As they were trying to clear the tree, another one came down and narrowly missed the officer.
Tree almost falling on officer as clearing another at Longslade. Thanks to Electrical Evolution for help clearing rd http://t.co/HSzJN7w5K0— @LymingtonCops 23 December 2013
Reader Jess Cox has just tweeted us this photo from Town Quay:
Very wet and windy at town quay! @dailyecho http://t.co/5nis9AuXlX— @jgcox36 23 December 2013
ROAD CLOSURE - Large tree has come down on the A27 from #Segensworth roundabout towards #ParkGate. Please find alternate routes to #ParkGate— @ParkGatePolice 23 December 2013
Residents in Southampton have been advised to call the city's Actionline regards any localised flooding or fallen trees they may encounter.
Actionline: 0800 5 19 19 19. Flood: 0845 988 1188
Rain, rain and more rain in Southampton..... Picture taken from Communities Team office: http://t.co/fZRj1gZ4IA— @southamptonscom 23 December 2013
Well this is an interesting ferry crossing to a very wet and windy iow.... A tad stormy! @wightlinkferry #iow #home http://t.co/fb6bSMrsrd— @Rory_photo 23 December 2013
Daily Echo reader Roger Brydges has sent us this photograph which he took at 2.25pm this afternoon in East Park.
It clearly shows one of the trees in East Park in Southampton has come down. Council workers are now on the scene, he adds.
Southampton City Council has issued the following update: “The current weather system is forecast to bring continued adverse weather conditions to the region into the early hours of Tuesday morning.
"High winds and heavy rain are expected which may lead to localised flooding, falling trees and damage to infrastructure. The council has brought in additional resources to help during this period and we will be keeping a close eye on developments."
Hampshire Constabulary said this afternoon: “The high winds and heavy rain are set to continue for the rest of the day and into the night. If you're out and about please take extra care on the roads, reduce your speed and don't try to drive through standing water.
“If you're planning a Christmas getaway it may be wise to allow extra time for your journey.”
The dismal weather has also hit flights to and from Southampton Airport. High winds are having a knock on impact on departure and arrival times and passengers are being urged to check with their airlines before flying for the very latest.
A fallen tree has closed another Hampshire road - this time at Watley Lane in Sparsholt. The road is blocked at the B3049 Stockbridge Road. Transport chiefs say that although it is a minor road, the fallen tree may affect traffic getting to and from the Lainston House hotel.
Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD) engineers are preparing for the severe gales forecast in order to be able to repair any damage caused to the electricity network.
Several hundred engineers and support staff are being mobilised throughout depots and offices across SSEPD's network area in anticipation of repairing any damage on the network from winds of up to 80mph.
Extra call handlers are also on hand to give customers advice and to talk to anyone who may lose their electricity supply. Calls will be made to vulnerable customers and co-ordination is being undertaken with local resilience groups to ensure their welfare.
Any customers who do lose their electricity supply are urged to contact our dedicated team on 0800 300 999 to report damage or highlight neighbours or friends who may need extra help.
The weather has also hit operations at Southampton Docks.
DP World Southampton have released this statement: "Please be advised that landside operations at the container terminal have been temporarily suspended due to high winds.
"This will result in some delays for hauliers visiting the terminal."
First Hampshire have released this statement: “Due to the high winds, we are withdrawing all double decker buses from services using the Itchen Bridge in Southampton until further notice. This will mainly affect Services 11, 12 and 13 which will now go the alternative route to Woolston via Northam Bridge and Peartree Avenue.
“We are sorry for any inconvenience this will cause but the safety of our customers and staff is of paramount importance. We shall keep you updated of any further changes.
Double decker buses have been stopped from crossing the Itchen Bridge in Southampton due to the high winds.
South West Trains has reported that a tree has fallen on the line between Basingstoke and Winchester - sparking delays of up to an hour for passengers desperate to get home for Christmas.
A 50mph speed restriction has been rolled out across the South West Trains network to minimise the chances of trains hitting trees.
The Environment Agency has put areas around the River Blackwater on flood alert, which means flooding is possible and residents should be prepared.
The river flows north of Wellow, near Romsey, and joins the River Test between Totton and Redbridge.
It said that water levels on the river are high but had started to drop off following the rain of Saturday and Sunday morning.
The same is true of Hovertravel between Ryde and Southsea due to adverse weather conditions. Crossings are currently unable to run due to the poor conditions across the Solent.
Services have also been suspended on Red Funnel between Southampton and West Cowes due to adverse weather conditions.
Red Jet sailings have been suspended as conditions across the Solent have worsened.
Wightlink ferry services from Lynington to Yarmouth have been temporarily suspended due to high winds with passengers being redirected to Portsmouth or just facing delays until crossings are reinstated.
Stokes Bay Road is closed in both directions at Alverstoke due to dangerous driving conditions.
Cliff Road in Stubbington has been closed completely due to strong winds, flooding and debris between Knights Bank Road and Meon Road near Nature Reserve.
There is access for residents only due to unsafe conditions.
Hampshire Police have also warned motorists that the M27 is currently affected by “very strong” crosswinds.
“If you are high sided take more care. Safe driving” officers have tweeted.
M27 affected by very strong crosswinds. If you are high sided take more care. Safe driving.— @HantsPolRoads 23 December 2013
A crash has already caused chaos on the M3 northbound near Eastleigh earlier this afternoon with traffic snaking back towards the M27 at Southampton Airport to the east and Rownhams to the west.
Shoppers are facing gridlock in Eastleigh and Chandler's Ford as a result while traffic is also heavy on roads leading to and from the motorways.
We are also covering live national updates, for those readers who are facing longer trips.
You can find that live blog here.
MOTORISTS and commuters are facing a number of warnings this afternoon as the festive weather begins to take a turn for the worst.
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