Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council, said: “With an amber weather warning now in place for wind gusts of up to 80mph along the coast and up to 65mph inland, our highways teams are ready to work round the clock to keep the roads clear and Hampshire moving.
“We’ve had an exceptionally wet winter so far, and groundwater levels have been rising as a consequence, so some areas are more vulnerable to surface water flooding. Similarly, strengthening winds combined with expected high tides in coastal areas will affect areas most vulnerable to tidal flooding. Heavily saturated ground could mean that some trees are more susceptible to fall in the strong winds or gusts and we can also expect the wind to damage trees and bring down branches which may affect roads and power lines. In response to this, we will have extra tree crews available as well as emergency highways teams.”
“I would ask that anyone setting out on a journey this weekend to please be prepared, drive according to the conditions and check the weather forecast before they head off.”
Given the severe weather forecast, Hampshire County Council is planning to close its main countryside sites on Sunday. Royal Victoria Country Park in Netley, Staunton Country Park in Havant, Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Petersfield, River Hamble Country Park in Botley, Calshot Outdoor Centre and the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Romsey will all be closed. Lepe Country Park, which is on an exposed coastal site, will be closed on both Sunday and Monday.
Fallen trees on the highway can be reported direct to the County Council at www.hants.gov.uk/transport/roadmaintenance/roadproblems
Fallen trees on rights of way can be reported direct to the County Council at www.hants.gov.uk/landplanningandenvironment/rightsofway/reportaproblem