Hampshire in 100 mile an hour storm alert as wind and rain bring travel disruption (From Daily Echo)
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Worst storm of the year predicted to hit county this weekend
Updated 10:08am Wednesday 5th February 2014 in News
A 100 mile an hour storm is to batter Hampshire this weekend as commuters were warned to expect major travel disruption.
The Met Office predicts the “significant weather event” will sweep in on Friday where torrential rain gales of up 100 mph could lash the south coast.
This comes as Hampshire residents and commuters are being warned of severe disruption throughout the day, with 70 mph winds and heavy rain expected to batter the county throughout the day.
This has prompted the Met Office to issue its amber alert amid fears that trees will fall on power lines, roads and train line with the downpours falling on already saturated ground.
South West Trains is poised to impose speed restrictions on major services running through Hampshire.
The Met Office issuing a severe weather warning and forecasting gusts of up to 60mph in coastal areas, with the downpours falling on already saturated ground.
The transport operator is set to enforce a 50mph speed limit between 10am and 7pm on some routes likely to be the worst affected.
Meanwhile trains between London Waterloo to Portsmouth Harbour via Eastleigh services will also be cancelled in both directions.
They were already diverting via Swanwick due to a landslip at Botley.
Trains will be running between Portsmouth and Southampton via Swanwick.
Extra staff will be on duty at stations while tree removal teams are on standby to clear any fallen trees.
Test trains were also ran overnight to check for and clear obstructions on the line.
A spokesman for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance said: “The continued heavy rain and flooding in the south west has put increased pressure on our rail network. The recent forecasts, which have come on top of the wettest January for a century, present an increased risk of further flooding, landslips and falling trees.
“Our experiences show that the best way to deal with the extreme weather and to avoid more serious disruption is to put an amended train service in place. The service changes will only impact the parts of our network that have been worse hit by the stormy weather since December. By running a reduced service we are minimising the risk of further damage being caused as well as lessening the potential for future disruption to our customers’ journeys.
Last night the Environment Agency had issued five flood warnings for the county and a number of less severe alerts.
See southwesttrains.co.uk or follow @SW_Trains on Twitter for further updates.
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