Damage and disruption as storm hits Portsmouth area

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Storms caused damage and disruption as they swept across the Portsmouth area today.

Train services were suspended and ferry links across the Solent cancelled as high winds battered the area.

Heavy seas at Southsea yesterday. Picture: Sam Bennett

Heavy seas at Southsea yesterday. Picture: Sam Bennett

Winds of 99mph were recorded at The Needles on the Isle of Wight early this morning and inland speeds reached 70mph.

No trains ran in the area as rail operators checked for damage on the lines. Hovertravel services between Southsea and Ryde were cancelled, as were Wightlink sailings to and from Portsmouth.

At 8.15am Wightlink announced its Portsmouth to Fishbourne route was running as normal again, as was its service from Lymington to Yarmouth.

The Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde catamaran service was back up and running as normal from 8.40am.

The 8.15am Brittany Ferries sailing from Portsmouth to Caen was delayed until 11am because of severe weather in the Channel.

The afternoon service is still scheduled to leave at 2pm.

Trees and branches were brought crashing down, causing problems on many roads, including the old A3 route along The Causeway at Petersfield. The road was blocked early this morning but reopened at around 7am.

In Gosport, a tree toppled onto a car in Beauchamp Avenue.

Trees were down outside the Porsche garage on Western Road, Portsmouth, blocking two lanes.

And fallen trees were partially blocking London Road in Portsmouth at the junction with Beechwood Road. Colas workers were called to deal with the problems.

Another tree fell in Tangier Road, Portsmouth.

Rain also caused flooding on many roads, with parts of the A3(M) being described as ‘like a canal’ last night.

Police advised motorists not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said: ‘There are trees down across

the county, causing problems on the road and blockages, which the

agencies are working hard to clear. We reiterate our message to the

public not to travel this morning unless absolutely necessary.’

The seafront road at Southsea was blocked to traffic. Portsmouth City Council closed gates on the road at 3pm yesterday as the storm began to arrive.

Two empty boats have gone adrift to the east of Hayling seafront.

Solent Coastguard said high winds had caused the vessels to come away

from where they were moored up.

In Portsmouth, firefighters were called to secure the sign on the Ibis Hotel.

Weathermen said the stormy weather would continue until mid-morning.

St Jude’s storm has left a teenage girl dead, hundreds of thousands of homes without power and transport chaos for rush-hour commuters.

The 17-year-old girl was killed in Hever, Kent, when hurricane-force conditions blew a tree on to the caravan where she was sleeping at 7.18am.

Kent Police said emergency services attended the scene but were unable to save the girl.

Up to 220,000 homes suffered power cuts as winds of almost 100mph battered the South West, South, South East, the Midlands and the East of England, UK Power Networks said.

Falling trees and other debris covering railway tracks caused travel misery for thousands of commuters, with trains and London Underground services suspended.

The port of Dover in Kent had to shut, more than 130 flights at Heathrow Airport were cancelled and many roads were impassable due to fallen trees.

One tree devastated three houses when it fell on a gas main and led to an explosion in Hounslow, west London.

If you have pictures please email them to newsdesk@thenews.co.uk or call reporter Miles O’Leary on 023 9262 2169