HUNDREDS of homes across Hampshire were today plunged into gloom after the weather caused numerous power cuts.

The weather hit Hampshire around lunchtime, which included a possible mini-tornado in the Romsey area.

A spokesman for Southern Electric this afternoon said there were numerous reports of problems in the New Forest and Winchester areas.

In the Winchester area, the high winds are believed to knocked down a tree onto a power line near Owslebury close to Marwell Zoo.

Zoo staff had to use hand-held radios to communicate although there was no direct impact on the animals as the zoo has back-up generators.

A Southern Electric spokesman said: "We have had freak weather and although our network is designed to be robust there are many reports of high winds and trees bringing lines down or lying on lines."