Storm Ciara causes havoc across the Portsmouth region - and dangerous weather is set to continue

Power cuts, road closures, and public transport disruption caused misery for residents as Storm Ciara hit the area – but others found ways to enjoy the weather.

Monday, 10th February 2020, 6:00 am

The worst storm since 2013, according to the Met Office, lashed Portsmouth and the surrounding area with winds of more than 60mph and heavy rains throughout Sunday.

The gale-force winds left 648 homes in Swanmore and a dozen in Waterlooville without power throughout the day.

Choppy seas and high winds meant travel disruption for two ferry services to the Isle of Wight, as Wighlink cancelled services from Portsmouth from 9am to 5pm and Hovertravel cancelled all services across the entire day.

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Weather watcher at Sally Port, Old Portsmouth. Storm Ciara. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (090220-55)

Railway passengers were also left frustrated by the storm, with a fallen tree near Fareham station and metal sheeting blown from a building site on to tracks near Cosham station causing delays and cancellations.

But some residents found ways to enjoy the wet and wild weather, including a dip in the sea, walking the dog on a waterlogged Southsea Common, and attempting the perfect storm selfie.

Southsea-resident Andy Waller was out taking photos of the storm when he came across two men in their thirties enjoying the weather - by going for a swim off Southsea beach at 9.30am. Andy said: 'They went out in the water for about 20 minutes, just staying in the surf zone.

‘They were suitably dressed for the weather, and they were definitely experienced open water swimmers’

Storm Ciara batters Portsmouth.

Eddie Grelra, a Southsea resident, decided to visit Clarence Esplanade to take ‘the perfect selfie’ in front of the raging sea.

Decked out in a green one-piece rain coat and plastic shopping bags over his shoes, Eddie said he had spent 30 minutes trying to get the perfect shot.

The thirty-six year old said: ‘I saw the weather and thought – why not?’

Portsmouth City Council was forced to shut Clarence Esplanade from Hover Travel to the Seafront D-day Car Park, while Seafront Esplanade was closed from the junction with St George's Road Eastney to the junction with St Helen’s Parade.

Spectacular waves in Portchester.

While Storm Ciara is expected to move on from the south coast by Monday morning, the Met Office has issued a yellow warning for Portsmouth and the surrounding area for the rest of the day, forecasting ‘a swathe of very strong winds.’