TORRENTIAL rain and high winds are gripping Hampshire today.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for the area as huge front bears down on the region.

Up to 15 millimetres of rainfall, more than half an inch, and gales of up to 60mph are set to hit the county while the Environment Agency has issues two flood warnings and a number of less severe alerts.

The worst of the heavy rain has passed but more blustery showers are forecast for this afternoon and evening, followed by a looming cold snap.

More than 500 homes have been without power in the New Forest for nearly 24 hours after overhead cables came crashing down in strong winds.

They fell at 8pm, plunging homes in the Sway area into darkness, although residents experienced disruptions to supply from as early as 4.30pm.

Engineers are working to fix the problem and anticipate reconnecting supplies tonight.

A Scottish and Southern Energy spokeswoman apologised for the delays and said: “We already planned to have extra resources on but the winds were much higher than forecast and have caused more damage than expected.

“We thank our customers for their patience.”

Police closed a busy Southampton city centre street at 11am today after guttering came loose from a building.

Dorset Street was sealed off at the Charlotte Place roundabout for nearly an hour while fire crews removed the broken structure.

A section of the railway line between Winchester and Micheldever was closed from 5.15pm night after a suspected mini tornado uprooted several trees.

It delayed the 3.35pm South West Trains service from London Waterloo, while trains between Eastleigh and Basingstoke were cancelled before the line reopened at 9pm.

A South West Trains spokeswoman apologised for the delays and said: “We cleared all tracks as quickly as possible and services are operating as normal today."

The Environment Agency is warning that the stretch of the River Meon between Titchfield and Wickham could pose a risk to riverside properties.

And there is also a warning about the levels of the River Avon near Ringwood.

There are also flood alerts - meaning be aware - for Hambledon, the section of the River Itchen from Twyford to Winchester, Hursley, Kings Somborne, Cheriton, Bishops Sutton and the River Meon from Wickham to East Meon.