Local residents and people due to travel in or through Kent later this week should plan for potential disruption, Kent County Council (KCC) said today.
The move follows a warning from the Met Office that storm Eunice is expected to generate a period of very strong winds in parts of England, including the south east, on Friday.
A yellow wind weather alert is in effect from the early hours until 9 p.m. on the 18thand February and the Met Office say where the gusts are strongest, perhaps as strong as 70 to 80 mph, flying debris can pose a danger to life.
There could also be fallen trees, damage to buildings and homes, with blown roofs and loose tiles, and cut power lines, interrupting supply.
Delays and cancellations on the transport network are also possible and the Environment Agency says people should avoid coastal paths and boardwalks due to large waves and powerful spray.
With most COVID travel restrictions lifted and more families on the move during the midterm break, Kent County Council Senior Highways Manager Toby Howe said it was important for people to stay in touch with traffic, travel and weather updates to keep them safe.
Toby Howe said: “As always when we talk about the weather, there is still some uncertainty about timings. Eunice is a storm system that has not yet developed southwestward over the Atlantic until Thursday.
“But the Met Office says the main impacts will occur on Friday with wind speeds of around 60-70mph, possibly 80mph in exposed and coastal areas, gradually decreasing later in the day.
“This means that driving conditions can sometimes be hazardous, particularly for vehicles with high sidewalls, and some closures of roads, bridges and railways may be required. It’s also not a day for watching waves and stormy selfies at the beach.
“When the Met Office names a storm we should all take note and follow simple steps to keep ourselves and those close to us safe and not put others, including the emergency services, at unnecessary risk.”
Steps you can take to stay safe during a storm include:
- KEEP UP TO DATE with the latest weather forecasts and weather warnings – by by visiting the Met Office website or following the Met Office social media channels, including on Twitter via @metoffice, @metofficeSEEng and @metofficeUK. Key hashtags to follow are #weatherready #weatherwarnings and #StormEunice. You can also follow the Met Office on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok
- FOLLOWING MET OFFICE SEASONAL ADVICE – read ‘How to stay safe during a storm’
- FOLLOWING THE ADVICE OF THE NATIONAL ROADS – on checking vehicles and traveling in high winds
- CHECK your #EverySingleJourney itinerary if your trip is essential – to find out where to go for the latest traffic and travel updates in Kent, visit Kent County Council’s Travel and Transport page here
- ALLOCATE extra time if you need to travel to get to your destination and prepare your car by packing essentials and checking tires, lights, fuel and water – because driving conditions in the event of a storm can be difficult and possibly dangerous; you may experience delays and need to take steps to prevent your vehicle from inevitably breaking down.
Listen to the latest Met Office podcast on this week’s storms, including Storm Eunice, here