Strong Winds And Rain Batter South Coast

Winds of up to 70 mph and heavy rain are causing big problems on the south coast.

A nasty start - weather wise - for the first day back at work with winds of up to 70 miles-per-hour and heavy rain battering the south coast.

Trees are down, some homes have been without power and ferries to and from the Isle of Wight are suspended.

Hovertravel and Red Funnel say they're not running services at the moment and Wightlink tell us the service between Lymington and Yarmouth is currently suspended.

A power cut just before 6am affected about 1,000 homes in Southampton. Engineers have now sorted out the problem, but pylons are down across both Hampshire and Dorset.

There's also problems on the trains around Brockenhurst, as a trees down blocking all the lines. 

Delays reported on the roads - including this pic of a shed about to blow on to the road in Sway in the New Forest.

Forecasters say the wind and rain is going to die down later this afternoon.



Road safety charity the IAM has this advice for driving in windy weather as severe gales spread across the country.

*Plan your journey - is there a route with less exposure to the weather and less risk of fallen trees? Choose a sheltered route if you have the option.

*Strong winds are not constant, they are usually gusty so ensure you hold the steering wheel firmly.

*Overtaking high sided vehicles or driving past buildings can result in a sudden gust from the side as you clear.

*Give cyclists, motorcyclists, lorries and buses more room than usual. They get blown around by side winds easily.

*Watch trees and bushes on the roadside - their branches show you how strong the wind is. Look well ahead, that way you don’t need to take your eye off the road and you can see any windy patches before you get to them.

*Go slow enough to cope with the gusts. Wind can get under a car and reduce its handling and braking significantly.

*Keep an eye on what is happening to other vehicles where they are affected will give you a pre warning.

*Keep extra distance between you and the car in front.

*Be careful of debris, try and have space beside you in case you need to dodge it.


IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: 

"I have seen a parked car moved by the wind. Don't underestimate how powerful it is and how it can affect you whilst in the car."

To help drivers stay safe this winter, the IAM has launched a new website, with traffic updates, weather forecasts and tips on how to drive safely in winter.

Tips cover rain, snow, ice, fog and wind - everything you can expect in a typically unpredictable British winter. Check it out before you travel.