Watch: Storm Katie hits south

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A mop-up began today after Storm Katie caused damage across the Portsmouth area.

The area was hit by winds gusting at 50-60mph with a 105mph blast recorded overnight at The Needles weather station on the Isle of Wight.

Part of the Eastern Road in Portsmouth was reported flooded and Wightlink services between Portsmouth and the Island were cancelled as were Hovertravel flights between Southsea and Ryde.

Buildings were damaged in Portsmouth as the storm hit hard in the early hours of today,

Flood gates were shut in Old Portsmouth and a section of Southsea seafront closed to traffic. A large area of the Common around Southsea bandstand was underwater.

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Strong winds and heavy rain pound Clarence Esplanade, Southsea Picture: Allan Hutchings (160427-766)

Strong winds and heavy rain pound Clarence Esplanade, Southsea Picture: Allan Hutchings (160427-766)

Storm Katie slideshow

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Several yachts were blown out of the water next the A27 at Portchester (picture by Richard Comben).

Trees came crashing down during the storm, including one that fell on the A3 at Purbrook, damaging a car (picture by Oscar Fernando).

The storm caused power cuts, one of which affected some properties in the Meon Valley.

South West Trains said trees had fallen onto lines at several places on the south’s rail network.

They included the tracks between Chichester and Havant, Guildford and Effingham Junction, Three Bridges and Horsham, South Croydon and Oxted, and Purley and Caterham.

A spokesman said this might result in some morning services being cancelled / amended or delayed.

Picture: Jason Kay / UKNIP

Picture: Jason Kay / UKNIP

Highways England issued an amber severe weather alert for its network of motorways and major A roads, advising the drivers of high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and other vulnerable vehicles to take extra care when travelling due to the increased risk of vehicles being blown over.

A spokesman said: ‘Drivers are advised to plan ahead for their journey before they set out, checking the forecast, road conditions and to leave extra time if travel conditions are poor or to delay their journey if the weather becomes increasingly severe.

‘The winds will be accompanied by outbreaks of heavy rain and as a result driving conditions will be hazardous for all vehicles.

‘As the severe weather coincides with the Easter holiday there are more likely to be vehicles towing caravans and trailers or with roof racks and top boxes fitted.

‘The wind strength will ease in the afternoon from the west as the low pressure area associated with Storm Katie moves into the North Sea.’

Locations specifically mentioned in the Highways England severe weather alert, where extra care is needed included M27 – J8-J9 Hedge End to Locks Heath- the A27 and the entire M25.

Flights arriving at Gatwick Airport had to be diverted due to high winds as Storm Katie ensured the Easter weekend continued to be wet and windy.

Gusts of more than 70mph hit areas in the South West and amber weather warnings were issued for London and the South East.

In addition Highways England said the Dartford River Crossing and M48 Severn Bridge were closed overnight on Sunday because of strong winds.

Four flights due to land at Gatwick’s north terminal between 2am and 2.55am were listed as diverted on the airport’s website.

Those travelling back from breaks across the country are advised to be careful on the roads, and if possible delay their journeys until later on Easter Monday afternoon.

Heavy rain moving north-eastwards across England and Wales presents a risk of localised flooding, while motorists are warned to be wary of branches falling from trees in the high winds.

A yellow warning for wind has been issued for south Wales, the East and South West, while a more serious amber warning is in place for London and the south-east.

Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said: “There is likely to be a lot of surface spray on the roads, there could be localised flooding, and the winds could cause branches to come off the trees, and one or two tiles off the roof.

“On the south coast there could be quite large waves.

“People should keep tuned in to the forecast, and avoid the east coast, south coast and high grounds as well if possible. Allow extra time for your journey and if possible try and delay your journey as winds will tend to ease off throughout the day.”

Winds of up to 60mph are forecast inland, with speeds of 70mph expected along the south coast, especially towards exposed areas across the south and south-east.

Northern Ireland and Scotland are set to escape Storm Katie, with a much quieter and bright, if showery, Easter Monday in store, Mr Petagna added.