RESIDENTS in Andover escaped the worst of gale force winds, which battered much of the south at the weekend.

Scores of trees and branches fell, blocking roads and in some cases hitting cars, but a number of injury and damage incidents were not said to be serious. Householders in some villages near Andover were left without power as 8,000 Southern Electric customers across Hamp-shire suffered the results of significant damage to overhead lines in the county.

Roman Way in Andover was one of a few roads in the town blocked by falling trees.

In sport a Southern region grass track championships for motorbike enthusiasts at Finkley Down had to be delayed.

Paramedics who needed on site to fulfil safety requirements were busy elsewhere.

Train passengers in the area suffered massive delays and cancellations.

Andover police had no reports of serious accidents but said a large number of trees had fallen.

But Hampshire Constabulary recorded a total of 2,295 incidents over a 24-hour period on Sunday compared to an average total of 1,400 for a normal Sunday in October.

Hampshire firefighters were called to 246 incidents - 122 of which were weather-related.

A normal figure at the weekend would be around 130 incidents.

Emergency services in Wiltshire reported similar problems. Southern Electric staff worked at full strength to repair power lines.

There were further delays to train services in the early part of the week as workers began their repairs.