HEAVY rain and winds of up to 60mph are battering Hampshire as the remnants of Hurricane Bertha hit the South Coast.

Torrential rain is set to lash the county for much of today with a Met Office yellow weather warning now in place until 8pm.

The agency says today’s severe weather could “disrupt transport and make outdoor activities dangerous”.

More than 50mm of rainfall could fall by the end of the day, while winds could reach 60mph across the coast.

There are currently no Environment Agency flood alerts for Hampshire, although there are reports of flooding at Coxford Road in Southampton, near to the junction with Birch Road.

The extreme weather has led to the organisers of the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, which was due to start at Cowes today, to postpone the event.

Originally they deceided to re-route the event so the yahcts set off towards the east in an anti-clockwise route, the opposite way to originally planned.

But now they have put back the start until 9am tomorrow.

The storm is the remnants of Hurricane Bertha, which hit the Caribbean last Monday before dissipating over the Atlantic Ocean.

Daily Echo:

Heavy rain on the A31 in the New Forest this morning.

Craig Woolhouse, the Environment Agency’s flood risk manager, said: “Widespread heavy rain on Sunday may lead to localised surface water flooding in some parts of England.

“On Sunday and Monday a combination of high spring tides and strong westerly winds bring a risk of large waves and spray and possible flooding to the south west coast of England and along the Severn Estuary.

“The unseasonal low pressure system looks set to sweep up from the south west, through the Midlands and, towards the Humber from the early hours of Sunday morning.

“We advise people to keep themselves informed by checking flood warnings on the Environment Agency website and listening to local radio.

“If you’re travelling to or from holiday then check your flood risk before setting off and don’t drive through flood waters.

“If you’re by the coast then stay safe, keep clear of promenades and don’t be tempted to put yourself at risk.”

Brittany Ferries cancelled its four fast-craft catamaran services between Portsmouth and Le Havre and Cherbourg in France.

However, it said all passengers would be able to travel on its conventional ferry services which are operating normally.