Kent’s first ever red weather warning for wind has now been lifted as Storm Eunice powers away eastwards to northern Europe.
The highest level of Met Office warning for wind, meaning ‘danger to life’ and never before issued for the South East of England, was in force from 7am to 3pm 18 February signally significant disruption and dangerous conditions expected.
It means people should continue to stay vigilant and keep in touch with traffic, travel and weather updates, especially if needing to make a journey.
The county’s road and rail services were severely disrupted on Friday. Follow @KentHighways for local road updates and @HighwaysSEAST for news about major Kent routes, including the M20 and A20. Follow the latest Southeastern train service updates here For the latest from Southern Rail visit www.southernrailway.com/travel-information
UK Power Networks continues to deal as quickly as possible with power cuts across the county.
Cross-channel ferry services were disrupted but resumed later on Friday. Follow operators @dfds_uk and @POferriesupdate for their latest.
Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) Tactical Lead and Kent County Council (KCC) Senior Highways Manager Toby Howe said while Storm Eunice had passed, warnings for strong winds now continue to apply in Kent into Monday afternoon.
Toby Howe said: “We are over the worst, but warnings remain in force and it will continue to be blustery into next week. Given there has been some structural and tree damage, and things like chimneys and hoardings may be a bit weakened, a little bit more wind could continue to give us problems so people should stay vigilant.
“There have been major impacts on the roads, at ports and in communities over the past day. There have been a lot of fallen trees, bridge closures and an added problem has been power outages and UK Power Networks has been very busy.
“Kent Police received five times the number of 999 calls on Friday they usually receive in one day.
“But all the borough and district councils have been working together, Kent Resilience Forum has been coordinating a lot of the response and there has been a big joint effort by so many organisations to keep Kent as safe as possible.
“Now our attention turns to clean up and getting Kent back up and running as it was hard for crews to get out and about safely in Friday’s very high winds.”
Steps you can take to stay safe in strong winds include:
- KEEPING UP TO DATE with the latest weather forecast and weather warnings – by visiting the Met Office website or following the Met Office’s social media channels, including on Twitter via @metoffice, @metofficeSEEng and @metofficeUK. The key hashtags to follow are #weatherready #weatherwarnings and #StormEunice. You can also follow the Met Office on You Tube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok
- FOLLOWING THE MET OFFICE’S SEASONAL ADVICE – read ‘How to stay safe in a storm’
- IF YOUR TRIP IS ESSENTIAL, CHECKING YOUR ROUTE BEFORE SETTING OFF – for where to go for the latest traffic and travel updates in Kent visit KCC’s Travel & Transport page here, and
- IF YOU MUST TRAVEL, ALLOWING EXTRA TIME TO GET TO YOUR DESTINATION – because driving conditions in storms are difficult and possibly dangerous and you are likely to face delays. Also follow National Highways advice about travelling on major roads in high winds
- KCC HIGHWAYS – extra crews and tree surgeons will be out and about this weekend clearing fallen trees and debris from local roads. To report any emergency issues, like a fallen tree across a local road, to KCC Highways call 03000 418181, between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, or 03000 419191 at all other times, including this weekend.
- UK POWER NETWORKS – report a power cut by calling 105.
- GAS LEAK – if you suspect a gas leak, call the National Grid emergency line on 0800 111 9999.
- ENVIRONMENT AGENCY – flood alerts remain in place In the event of flooding, call the EA on 0800 807060.
- Call 999.
- Continue to look out for elderly and vulnerable neighbours, particularly if there are power losses where you live, and
- Keep garden furniture, wheelie bins and other outdoor items that could blow away in strong winds secured.
- KCC’s Household Waste Recycling Centres were expected to re-open on Saturday.