Road and rail travel hit by wind damage

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Road and rail travellers faced continued problems today after high winds and heavy rain battered the Portsmouth area.

The Eastern Road in Portsmouth was closed in both directions this morning because of flooding at Burrfields, as was the A259 Emsworth by-pass.

High winds hit Southsea seafront Picture: Marcin Jedrysiak

High winds hit Southsea seafront Picture: Marcin Jedrysiak

Stokes Bay Road in Gosport, Cliff Road in Stubbington, and the A32 at Fareham were all also affected as flooding and fallen trees caused problems across the area.

The A27 at Emsworth was closed this morning eastbound between the A259 Havant Road and the Fishbourne roundabout at Chichester because of flooding, but staff at the ROMANSE traffic management centre said that the road had reopened at around 8am.

Hayling police said road closures were being put in place on West Lane today because sections were unpassable due to flooding.

South West Trains said Portsmouth was one of the worst affected areas on its network, with 50 to 60 trees having fallen on its network.

A billboard torn down by the winds at the junction of Henderson Road andCromwell Road at Eastney, Portsmouth, last night Picture: John Gunner

A billboard torn down by the winds at the junction of Henderson Road andCromwell Road at Eastney, Portsmouth, last night Picture: John Gunner

Around 30 trees were reported to have come down on roads across the area.

Brittany Ferries cancelled two crossings from Portsmouth last night, one to Roscoff and one to Caen.

The ferry to Bilboa left Portsmouth but was caught in the storm and after making an unsuccessful attempt to dock at Brest in northern France, spent the night anchored near Finistère to ride out the weather.

A 58-year old man was taken by helicopter off of the ferry yesterday afternoon after he slipped and sustained neck injuries during the bad weather.

The man is now in hospital in France.

A spokesman from Brittany Ferries said that the ferry would now dock at Brest at 10am and that passengers will be compensated for the extra miles they will have to drive to Bilboa.

The company confirmed that the ferry from Caen arrived on time in Portsmouth and will be operating at 8.15am this morning.

The Christmas cruise to Antwerp is scheduled to go ahead as planned later today.

Staff at the emergency control centre established at the Hampshire Police headquarters at 10.30am yesterday for all emergency services to co-ordinate their storm response took 1,100 calls overnight, double the usual volume.

Police said there had been reports of structural damages, but none were critical incidents.

They said surface water meant aquaplaning was still a major danger on roads, and urged motorists not travel unless the journey was necessary.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service also urged drivers to only make essential journeys this morning following the events of last night’s storm.

The Service said it had taken 460 adverse weather related 999 calls.

Area Manager Mick Crennell said: “We have had extremely high call volumes over the last 12 hours and our crews have been very busy all over the county attending 160 incidents. The type of incidents that we have attended include eight water rescues, numerous floodings, dangerous structures, fallen trees, fires and road traffic collisions.

“We are concerned about fallen trees, debris and flooding which may cause travel disruption today. I would urge the public to think seriously about each journey they take and assess the safest way to get to their destination.

“We strongly encourage people to take extra care today.”

The River Meon burst its banks last night, with severe flooding to Bridge Street, in Titchfield.

Fareham Borough Council leader Cllr Sean Woodward said: ‘We have had people working all night and they will be working all of Christmas Day and Boxing Day to clear up and then we are expecting another lot of storms to come in over the New Year.’

But weathermen had some good news - conditions are expected to improve today, although some rain and hail is forecast for later.

High winds hit Portsmouth area

Tree falls on Fareham house

Floods hit Emsworth

Storm damage at Gosport Borough FC

The storm in pictures