New Year begins with same old bad weather

Daily Echo: New Year begins with same old bad weather New Year begins with same old bad weather

THE New Year is set to begin as the old one ended – with a battering from the elements.

Hampshire is set to welcome 2014 with winds of up to 60mph, heavy rainfall and the potential for fresh flooding.

It could provide fresh misery for thousands of residents who are still clearing up after storms lashed the south coast over the past week.

Thousands of homes were left without power after Christmas Eve, with some only having it restored on Saturday, while dozens of trees were felled across the region.

The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning – meaning be aware – ahead of today’s fresh storms.

The agency says heavy rainfall, travelling from the Atlantic Ocean, will sweep across the south coast today.

Rainfall is expected to be as heavy as 40mm in some areas of the south, which could lead to fresh flooding with much ground already saturated from the last weeks’ rainfall.

Hampshire County Council has stockpiled extra resources to deal with the fresh storm, and has increased its highways emergency crews.

The teams – many of who have given up their Christmas breaks – have already had to deal with 1,300 incidents of fallen trees and flooded trees across the county’s highways network Councillor Seán Woodward, the council’s transport and environment chief, said: "We are in a good position to deal with any issues arising from the predicted wet and windy weather over the New Year.

“It is anticipated they will be busy on New Years’ Day and beyond clearing up after this next bout of bad weather. Our maintenance teams are likely to be very stretched and it will be necessary to prioritise locations. I would ask people to bear with us while we do all we can to clear roads and incidents of flooding quickly.”

The Environment Agency (EA) and local authorities in the region will be keeping a close eye on the weather and flooding trouble spots over the next 24 hours.

The EA has issued flood alerts for the area south of Ringwood, and the Isle of Wight coastline.

The agency’s Julia Simpson said: “Over the New Year celebrations heavy rain is forecast which could cause flooding to communities in the south east. We expect that rivers will respond to rainfall that is predicted overnight and into tomorrow.

“We are monitoring the situation very closely as river levels across the South East remain high and responsive, and standing water remains in some flood plains. Environment Agency teams have been on the ground around the clock operating pumping stations, issuing flood warnings and checking that flood banks, walls and barriers are working effectively.

Although the rain will ease – and Hampshire could even see some sunshine tomorrow (Thurs, Jan 2) – heavy rainfall is expected to return on Friday and Saturday.

A yellow weather warning has been issued for Friday from midnight to 9pm, with high tides predicted and “very strong winds” predicted.

Today’s forecast is sure to elicit groans from many Hampshire residents, who have endured rising flood waters, power cuts and fallen trees in the past week.

Homes in the New Forest, Bishopstoke and Southampton faced Christmas without electricity after power was cut on Christmas Eve – and some houses in the New Forest only saw their electricity restored on Saturday.

The power had come on again for residents in Bishopstoke on Christmas Day – only for it to cut out two hours later, ruining many peoples’ Christmas dinners.

Elsewhere in the county, dozens of trees came crashing down on cars and houses, with one fallen 100ft oak blocking off a road in Netley for four days.

The high winds also caused part of Southampton’s Civic Centre clock tower roof to fall onto the road below.

Much of the region was also afflicted by flooding, with many rivers bursting their banks.

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7:43am Wed 1 Jan 14

Letitsnow says...

Happy new year
Happy new year Letitsnow

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