Danger alert as Storm Imogen sweeps in

Police flashed a danger alert as Storm Imogen hit the south coast today.

Hampshire Constabulary advised drivers not making urgent journeys to avoid taking to the roads before 3pm with severe gales predicted for the morning.

Ryan Nolan, from Portsmouth, tweeted a picture of the damage the strong winds had caused to his garden wall.

The Southsea resident said the whole wall blew over at around 11pm last night.

Gosport fire station were also called out last night after a trampoline got stuck on a conservatory roof.

The crew were called to Gale Moor Avenue and used ropes to dismantle the trampoline which had landed next to one of the bedrooms with a teenage inside.

It had blown across two gardens and was returned to its owners. No-one was injured.

South West Trains are warning commuters of possible delays up to 30 minutes as trains between Portsmouth and London, via Haslemere, run at reduced speeds.

Earlier service delays between Portchester and Fareham due to a fallen tree have now been cleared.

The weather forced a suspension of Hovertravel services between Southsea and Ryde as strong winds buffeted the Solent. Bursts of up to 93mph were measured at the Needles overnight.

In Bishop’s Waltham, a power cut left 32 homes without electricity.

The Environment Agency issued 62 flood warnings requiring immediate action for parts of the south west, south east and Wales as the winter storm swept in following widespread persistent rain on Sunday.

There are a further 204 alerts in place where flooding is possible.

The Met Office issued amber warnings of wind for much of the south west and there is a yellow warning of gusts throughout Monday stretching from southern Wales to the Thames Estuary.

Highways England said it had shut the Severn Bridge on the M48 to all vehicles and a stretch A35 bypass at Dorchester was closed due to flooding.

Spokesman Jon Allen urged drivers to “check their routes and change their journeys accordingly” before setting off in the morning rush hour.

Rail travellers were warned to expect disruption to journeys and urged to check before they travel, especially on coastal routes, with many services potentially delayed, altered or cancelled.

Speed restrictions at various times will be imposed on routes operated by Arriva Trains Wales, Great Western Railway, Southern, South West Trains, the Gatwick Express, Southeastern and Thameslink services until at least 5pm due to high winds, according to National Rail Enquiries.

Travellers in southern Wales were warned of disruption throughout the morning and into the afternoon.

Winds are expected to be “particularly strong” across the south of England from 11am, forcing speed restrictions.

Storm Imogen is expected to track eastwards along the south coast throughout Monday and threaten ferry services from the Port of Dover.

Extreme weather conditions late on Sunday forced the port to close for around two hours into Monday, disrupting services.

The authority tweeted: “Port of Dover is monitoring weather situation. Safety is primary concern and we apologise for any inconvenience to travellers.”

A Network Rail spokeswoman said inspections were ongoing although no damage or blockages on the network had been found.

Meanwhile those watching waves in coastal areas have been warned to keep a safe distance from seafronts, as 14m swells in the Channel are expected to create dramatic scenes.