STORM CIARA: Wiltshire and Hampshire hit by strong winds

STORM CIARA: Wiltshire and Hampshire hit by strong winds

Published by Mike Draper at 8:34am 9th February 2020. (Updated at 6:21pm 9th February 2020)

4 minute read

The Met Office has issued an Amber weather warning for the area, as what could be the worst storm to hit Britain in 7 years is predicted.

That warning is in place for most of the day.

It means we can expect:

  • Flying debris could lead to Injuries or danger to life
  • Some damage to buildings, such as tiles blown from roofs expected
  • Longer journey times and cancellations, as road, rail, air and ferry services affected
  • Some roads and bridges closed
  • Power cuts with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage
  • Injuries and danger to life from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties

The strong winds - which could reach up to 80mph - have already been causing travel disruption in parts of the country.

South Western Railway confirmed it will be imposing a blanket speed restriction of 50mph across the network from 10:00-19:00 today.

It will also be allowing people who have already bought tickets to travel today to use them tomorrow instead.

Plus, they've issued this update (at 10:15am 9th February) on social media saying replacement bus services running from Salisbury have now been affected by trees that have come down in the wind:

Wiltshire Council's also been busy helping out with any storm related issues:

Highways England has extended its warning to drivers across England to take care and be prepared for strong gales.

With the South West predicted to be one of the worst hit areas, road users are being urged to think before heading out.

Highways England’s Head of Road Safety, Richard Leonard, said: 

“We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys and consider if their journey is necessary and can be delayed until conditions improve. If you do intend to travel, then plan your journey and take extra care, allowing more time for your journey. 

“In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down." 

A number of trees have come across the region because of the high winds.

The Thruxton Down road from the A338 roundabout down to the Thruxton track has been blocked by a fallen tree (at time of publishing 11:30am). 

Attempts are being made to move it, but it's thought the road may be blocked for some time.

Phil sent us this photo of what's happening there:

Tree down on Thurxton Road
Tree down on Thurxton Road

It's not just the roads that are affected - airlines have also cancelled dozens of domestic and international flights.

Heathrow Airport said it had taken a joint decision with its airline partners to "consolidate" Sunday's flight schedule to minimise the number of cancelled flights.

A spokesperson added: "We regret any disruption caused and remain focused on getting passengers away safely and as quickly as possible."

Virgin Atlantic said it has axed a number of flights, while British Airways is offering customers flexible rebooking options for customers on domestic and European flights flying to and from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City airport on Sunday.

BA said in a statement: "Like all airlines operating into and out of the UK... we are expecting to be impacted by the adverse weather conditions across parts of the UK on Sunday."

Storm Ciara hasn't just affected travel though.

It's also led to the cancellation of Salisbury's Junior Parkrun.

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