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Storm Dennis: "Danger to life" warning for Surrey and Hampshire

3 minute read
Storm Dennis: "Danger to life" warning for Surrey and Hampshire

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 5:38am 16th February 2020. (Updated at 6:15am 16th February 2020)

The Met Office is warning of "danger to life" as an amber alert for very heavy rainfall goes up.

The alert, upgraded from yellow yesterday, was issued at 12:15am today (16 February).

It is in place until 6pm, after which it is downgraded to yellow until 9pm.

A yellow alert for wind is still in place until midday today.

Weather warning amber
The amber alert covers most of Surrey and Hampshire.

Up to 80mm of rain could fall across our area.

The Met Office amber rain warning says fast flowing or deep floodwaters could cause "danger to life".

The latest alert means homes and businesses are likely to be flooded.

Transport services are likely to be disrupted, and drivers will face difficult conditions on the roads.

Power cuts are also likely.

The forecast from the Met Office says:

"Spells of heavy and prolonged rainfall are anticipated to bring around 20-40 mm of rain quite widely, with 60-80 mm possible in a few locations.

"This rain is expected to fall across areas already wet from recent rainfall.

The Environment Agency has issued several flood alerts for our area.

The EA is warning us to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive through flood waters.

It has arranged for flood barriers to go up in Guildford and Godalming after defence were installed yesterday in Leatherhead.

Flooding (1)
We are warned to stay away from flooded areas.

The following advice to drivers is from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service:

Driving during heavy rain:

  • Spray on road surfaces can decrease visibility, so reduce driving speeds and allow additional time to stop safely on wet roads.
  • Increase your distance from the vehicle in front to improve your ability to see and plan ahead.
  • Use headlights as rain and spray from vehicles may make it difficult to see and be seen.
  • If steering becomes unresponsive, it probably means that water is preventing the tyres from gripping the road - ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually.
  • Test your brakes at the first safe opportunity if you have driven through deep water as they may be less effective; if they are not fully effective, gently apply light pressure while driving slowly, this will help to dry them out.

Flood water and river fords:

  • Avoid entering river fords during or after periods of rainfall - remember a car can be swept away in as little as two feet of water.
  • Always pay attention to warning devices, such as depth gauges.
  • If in any doubt, do not enter the water in a vehicle or on foot - find an alternative route.
  • Motorists should slow down, cross in lower gears and keep revs up to maintain pressure in the exhaust to prevent water getting into the engine.
  • If water is safe to enter, always test your vehicle brakes on exiting.

If you do venture out today, you are advised to check before you travel.

Keep up to date with traffic and travel news here.