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Weather warning in Kent for high winds and rain

Published: 07/11/2023
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With weather warnings in place for high winds and rain, the Kent Resilience Forum is asking residents to only travel if necessary and keep up to date with the latest forecast and advice.

While the Met Office amber wind alert associated with Storm Ciarán was lifted at midday, yellow weather warnings for both wind and rain remain in force for Thursday.

The blustery conditions will continue to make for tricky driving conditions and with downpours falling onto already saturated ground, the count will continue to experience localised flooding. A number of flood alerts are in place covering inland and coastal areas. A flood alert means flooding is possible so be prepared. 

Gusts, fallen trees and debris including leaves and branches will also continue to contribute to disruption to transport - including trains and ferries - and isolated power outages.

The Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) partners including Kent County Council (KCC), the Environment Agency (EA) and UK Power Networks and many others have had extra staff out on the ground overnight working to keep residents safe. 

The KRF, a group of organisations and agencies that plan and prepare as a unit for emergencies affecting the people of Kent, continues to take guidance from the Met Office.

KRF’s Tactical Lead Toby Howe said: “In fast-moving severe weather incidents, emergency teams have a lot to contend with and we urge residents to help us keep everyone safe by not taking unnecessary risks – including staying away from seafronts. It is not worth risking your life and others for that selfie.

“Only travel if you really have to and if you do have to go out, really do take care.

“With continued rain there will be flooding. It will be gusty throughout the day, so the risk of trees and branches coming down will continue to be a risk.

“We ask that residents keep up to date with the latest weather forecasts, travel information and advice.”

Drivers can keep up to date with the latest travel information by following @KCCHighways on X (formerly Twitter) and can report issues on roads, including fallen trees on the Kent County Council website or in an emergency call 03000 419191.

The Environment Agency teams are working hard to keep rivers flowing and flood defenses working. It is asking people to stay away from piers, promenades and swollen rivers. People are also urged not to drive through a flood as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to sweep your car away.

People should check their flood risk, sign up for free flood warnings and stay across the latest situation at the Government check for flooding webpage and follow the Environment Agency South East on X for the latest flood updates.

UK Power Networks worked overnight to restore more than 16,500 power supplies across the South East. People are urged to stay well clear of power lines and anyone spotting a damaged power line should report it immediately on 0800 31 63 105 (24-hour phoneline). See if you are eligible to sign up for its Priority Service Register at Storm Prepare

Key transport updates include:

Ferry sailings are disrupted between Dover and Calais. Follow your operator for updates. As a result, lorries are being queued on the A20 in the Dover TAP traffic management scheme. 

Some 20 schools in coastal areas closed as a result of storm Ciarán. In severe weather, schools make their own decisions about whether to stay open and contact parents directly. You can register to receive schools reporting closure on the Kent Closures KKC website

More information:

Met Office news and advice

National Highways: Stay across its X feed for the latest on the road network through Kent.

Trains: There is the likelihood of cancellations and delays on Thursday, with a speed limit in operation. There will be no replacement bus services for cancelled train. Check before travel with the train company.

HM Coastguard advice and things to consider –

  • Is it safe to go out at all? If there are weather warnings in place, it is best to stay in. Always adhere to official advice.
  • Keep away from the water’s edge.
  • Keep off groynes, piers, jetties and harbour walls. If you can feel the spray, you’re too close.
  • Periods of intense rainfall make cliff edges more vulnerable. Stay far back from the edge and well away from the base of a cliff at all times, but particularly during or after heavy rainfall.
  • Stay out of flood water. Remember that as little as 15cm (6 inches) of fast-moving floodwater can be enough to knock you off your feet.

Article courtesy of Kent County Council