Kent Highways crews are finding and fixing potholes caused by the extensive rain over the last few weeks.
As surveys of the condition of roads continue following Storm Ciara, this weekend Storm Dennis is expected to bring further wind and rain.
Last weekend highways officers from Kent County Council dealt with over 500 enquiries to clear trees and remove surface water flooding.
This weekend additional staff are on standby to deal with any emergencies on the highway.
There is a yellow wind warning in place from 10am on Saturday to 11.59pm on Sunday, with a yellow rain warning between noon on Saturday and 9pm on Sunday.
Kent’s roads have been saturated due to heavy rainfall since November and this has made the network extremely vulnerable to potholes.
Highways crews have been scouring the county’s 5,400 miles of road network ensuring dangerous potholes are filled immediately.
Potholes not considered to be dangerous are placed into a programme and will be filled in within 28 days.
KCC highway manager Kirstie Williams said: “We prioritise potholes according to how unsafe they’re making the road and so whilst not all potholes reported to us are a priority, but we do aim to fix all that are identified.
“Dangerous faults that pose an immediate risk of causing an accident are fixed within two hours of being found or reported to us while hazardous faults which could deteriorate quickly to become dangerous are fixed within seven days.
“For emergency potholes we sometimes have to make an instant repair by quickly filling the hole to make the road safe but we schedule a full permanent repair to prevent potholes from forming in the future.
“We work hard to carry out the majority of our larger repairs during the summer when there is less rain, temperatures are more suitable for the materials we use and there is no salt present from winter gritting ensuring a longer lasting repair”
Kent County Council encourages residents that spot potholes to report them online via Kent.gov.uk with 70% of pothole reports to KCC coming through this online fault reporting tool.
Heavy rain and strong winds could lead to impacts such as difficult driving conditions, disruption to transport, isolated power outages and the potential for flooding of homes and businesses.
– Yellow WIND Warning (Medium Likelihood of Low Impacts) valid 1000 on Saturday 15th February to 2359 on Sunday 16th February 2020.
– Yellow RAIN Warning (Low Likelihood of Medium Impacts) valid 1200 on Saturday 15th February to 2100 on Sunday 16th February 2020.
– Amber RAIN Waring (Medium Likelihood of Medium Impacts) valid 0015 to 1800 on Sunday 16th February 2020 (large parts of Sussex and Hampshire and SW Kent).
It will turn increasingly cloudy during the day with a band of rain moving southeast late afternoon and evening, becoming slow moving overnight. We could see 5-10 mm isolated 15 mm of rain from this band of rain.
Storm Dennis, is expected to bring a spell of very wet and windy weather across the UK over the weekend.
The band of cloud across SE England at first on Saturday will generally become lighter but areas of locally heavy rain are expected to move east during the afternoon and evening, continuing overnight and through much of Sunday.
We could see 20-30 mm of rain quite widely but some locations could see as much as 50-60 mm, possibly more in a few locations. This rain will fall onto already saturated ground and could lead to difficult driving conditions, disruption to transport and flooding of homes and businesses.
The Met Office have issued an Amber RAIN Warning (Medium Likelihood of Medium Impacts) to cover the areas most likely to see impacts from the heaviest rainfall.
There is also a Yellow RAIN Warning (Low Likelihood of Medium Impacts), which covers all other areas. The Flood Guidance Statement is also Amber for surface water and river flooding.
The rain will be accompanied by strong, south-westerly winds. The wind will increase on Saturday morning and, more especially during the afternoon, with gusts of 50 mph inland but as high as 60-70 mph along the south coast.
The strongest winds are expected during Saturday and they are expected to gradually ease late on Saturday night and on Sunday morning.
The Met Office have updated the Yellow WIND Warning (Medium Likelihood of Low Impacts) to cover the potential impacts from the strong winds. Impacts could include damaged or fallen trees, difficult driving conditions, disruption to transport and isolated power outages.
Monday and Tuesday look like seeing days of sunshine and showers, although some places may remain dry, in a brisk west to south-westerly wind. Further unsettled weather is expected later next week.
Call 999 if your house is flooding or there is an immediate risk or danger to life.
For more information visit the Environment Agency links below:
On the roads:
- Turn your headlights on – the Highway Code says you must use them when visibility is seriously reduced (less than 100m).
- Use fog lights if you like, but switch them off when visibility improves.
- Leave twice as much space between you and the car in front – it takes longer to stop in the wet.
- If your steering feels light due to aquaplaning, ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually.
- If you break down don’t prop the bonnet open while you wait. Rain-soaked electrics can make it harder to start the engine.
Floods and standing water
- Try to avoid standing water if you can.
- Don’t drive into flood water that’s moving or more than 10cm (4 inches) deep.Let approaching cars pass first.
- Drive slowly and steadily so you don’t make a bow wave.
- Test your brakes as soon as you can afterwards.
- Fast-moving water is very powerful – take care or your car could be swept away.
If you do get stuck in flood water, it’s usually best to wait in the car and call for help rather than try to get out.
Why slow down?
Driving fast through water is dangerous, inconsiderate and can end up being very expensive.
Your tyres can lose contact with the road, causing you to lose steering control – called aquaplaning. If you feel it happening, hold the steering lightly and lift off to slow down gently until your tyres grip again.
At anything above a slow crawl you’ll throw water onto pavements, soaking pedestrians or cyclists. You could be fined and get points on your licence for this.
It only takes an egg cupful of water to be sucked into your engine to wreck it, and on many cars the engine’s air intake is low down at the front.
What to watch out for
- Look out for slip and trip hazards like kerbs under the water.
- Manhole covers can get lifted and moved.
- Water levels can change quickly.
- Assume that flood water is contaminated:
Take care when travelling in heavy rain, wind and thunderstorms.
Driving in storms, rain and high winds
- Even moderate rain can reduce your ability to see and be seen. A good rule of thumb is ‘if it’s time for your wipers, it’s time to slow down’.
- If heavy downpours are expected, avoid starting your journey until it clears.
- If you can, choose main roads, where you are less likely to be exposed to fallen branches and debris and flooding.
- Use dipped headlights if visibility is seriously reduced.
- Gusts of wind can unsettle vehicles – grip your steering wheel firmly with both hands. This is particularly important when planning to overtake.
- Keep an eye out for gaps between trees, buildings or bridges over a river or railway – these are some of the places you are more likely to be exposed to side winds. Ensure that you maintain enough room either side of your vehicle so you can account for it being blown sideways.
- Roads will be more slippery than usual in wet weather – be sure to give yourself more time to react when approaching a hazard. Increase your following gap to at least four seconds from the moving traffic in front.
- Keep your eyes peeled on the road at all times as spray from other vehicles can suddenly reduce your visibility. Remember it affects others too, so anticipate their actions and be prepared.
What to do when the road is flooded
- On flooded roads, think before driving through deep water; don’t stop in standing water, and drive through the highest section of the road slowly. If there is any doubt don’t enter it.
- Once you have managed to drive through check your brakes and dry them out as quickly as possible – a light touch of the brakes whilst still moving should do the trick.
- RAC offers more in-depth advice about driving through water and floods.
- Keep an eye out for cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians
- Remember to give vulnerable road users including cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians more room than usual. They are more likely to be blown around by side winds – always keep a safe distance.
Remember to give vulnerable road users including cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians more room than usual. They are more likely to be blown around by side winds – always keep a safe distance.
Keep your speed down, lowering your speed will lower the distance you travel when buffeted around by the wind.