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Severe storms batter Hampshire
11:17pm Monday 23rd December 2013 in News
ROADS have closed, trains, buses and flights have been cancelled and a tree came crashing down on a house as 90mph winds battered Hampshire today.
Thousands of people are without electricity after wind and rain lashed the county this afternoon.
Traffic came to a standstill and some trains simply did not turn up as the dismal weather wrecked Christmas getaway plans.
The deluge continued throughout the evening and will continue into the early hours before conditions improve tomorrow morning.
Operator Flybe called a halt to all its services for the rest of the day as the conditions worsened.
Passengers flying from Glasgow told the Daily Echo how they were forced to find overnight accommodation as their pre-Christmas journey plans were left in tatters.
On the water, ferry services were halted from Lymington and Southampton to the Isle of Wight.
Winds of up to 90mph were recorded off the Needles off the Isle of Wight while amber weather warnings were put in place by forecasters.
Nearly 3,000 people have been left without electricity in parts of the New Forest - the figure is closer to 17,000 across Hampshire as a whole.
The situation worsened throughout the afternoon as tens of thousands took to the roads and rail networks in a bid to get home for Christmas.
An elderly motorist had to be helped from his car after driving into floodwater at Stubbington after 8.30pm.
The Environment Agency has issued “be prepared” flood alerts for the River Lymington in Brockenhurst and on the Isle of Wight coast.
Tomorrow Southampton Airport expects flights to return to normal schedules, but warns there could be delays.
But trains will not start running untik 7.30am to allow for engineers to carry out safety checks and clear fallen trees and obstacles and asses flooding at several locations.
South West Trains is drafting in extra staff 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: "“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.
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