Storm warning: county council’s safety advice

Stormy weather.
Stormy weather.

People in West Sussex are being urged to take steps to prepare themselves ahead of a major storm which is due to reach the region in the early hours of tomorrow (Monday October 28) morning.

The severe weather is expected to bring gusts in excess of 80mph across the southern half of the UK, particularly on exposed coastal areas.

The storm has the potential to cause widespread disruption through falling trees, structural damage, transport interruptions, power cuts and flooding.

West Sussex County Council has issued a strong warning to the public to urge them to think ahead and take precautions to minimise the impact of the storm, wherever possible.

The County Council is particularly concerned about holidaymakers at caravan sites or people living in mobile homes. These people are being encouraged to consider taking shelter elsewhere.

Residents should act now to secure anything outside their property which could blow around in the strong winds and potentially cause a hazard, such as ladders, plant pots or garden furniture.

Householders should make sure their bins and the rubbish inside them is secure or brought inside if possible. Most bin collections in West Sussex have been cancelled for Monday, however if your district or borough council’s collection is still going ahead, then please do not put your bin out before midday.

The heavy rainfall is expected to cause surface water flooding, and residents who live in known flood risk areas are advised to take steps to ensure they protect their property.

Commuters are being warned to only travel on Monday morning if their journey is absolutely essential. Motorists should allow extra time for their journey and drive with caution. Anyone with motorbikes, bicycles or high-sided vehicles, such as lorries or caravans, are particularly vulnerable and should avoid travelling altogether.

People should be aware of sudden gusts of wind, surface water and flying debris. Coastal areas are likely to feel the full force of the storm with damage to shingle beaches possible. People are being advised to stay away from the beach as large waves, spray and flying shingle on the seafront could be dangerous.

During the peak of the storm on Monday morning pedestrians are being advised to stay away from wooded areas where there is a danger of falling trees.

People should stay up-to-date with the latest weather forecast and severe weather warnings at www.metoffice.gov.uk and follow the advice of emergency services if required.