Storm causes floods and power cuts in Hampshire

Storms battered the south coast causing transport disruption

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About 50,000 homes in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have been without power after storms battered the south coast.

Homes were flooded in Whitwell, Isle of Wight and in Emsworth. Several drivers had to be rescued from flood water after the storm overnight into Tuesday.

Christmas Eve trains were cancelled and on the Westbury to Southampton route replacement buses could not run as roads were blocked by fallen trees.

In Chandlers Ford, the brick facade of a house collapsed.

Geoff Koziol, who lives opposite the damaged property in Oakmount Road, said: "Overnight the strong winds had taken down a large amount of the outer skin of brickwork and one of the top windows.

'Candlelight cribbage'

"They've blocked the whole road off. I don't think the people who own the house are in at the moment so they are going to have a bit of a shock when they come back."

Roy Aimes, of Selangor Avenue, in Emsworth, said flood water had come "within a cat's whisker" of entering his home. He had to run a pump continuously to keep the water at bay.

He said: "Now the water is beginning to recede and the pump is getting on top of it."

House in Chandlers Ford with collapsed facade The facade of a house in Chandlers Ford collapsed after days of rain
Dangerous tree being felled Clear up operations continued throughout Christmas Eve
Tree in Southampton City Centre A tree came down overnight in Southampton city centre
Southampton golf course Tree surgeons quickly got to work clearing a fallen tree in Golf Course Road in Southampton
Brockenhurst Roads around Brockenhurst in the New Forest were under water

Peter Baird, of Barton Stacey, lost power in his home on Monday afternoon. He said: "We are beginning to get a little bit worried about the food in the freezer.

"But we got some candles and my wife and I were playing cribbage by candlelight."

Southern Electric said more than 600 staff had been working to restore supplies.

Spokesperson Morven Smith said there had been "significant damage" to the network.

"We know it's a very difficult time to be without power. Our engineers' travel has been hampered by floods and trees on the roads, it has been slow progress."

A number of roads were closed because of flood water or fallen trees.

Hampshire Constabulary said it had taken more than 2,500 calls in 24 hours, while Hampshire Fire and Rescue said it attended more than 160 incidents overnight on Monday into Tuesday.

Weather information

From the BBC:

Service area manager Mick Crennell said: "The type of incidents that we have attended include water rescues, flooding, dangerous structures, fallen trees, fires and road traffic collisions.

"We are concerned about fallen trees, debris and flooding which may cause travel disruption. I would urge the public to think seriously about each journey they take and assess the safest way to get to their destination."

Southampton Airport said extra flights were being laid on following Monday's disruption but passengers were being warned of delays and urged to allow extra time for their journeys.

However, cars getting to and from the airport were held up on Tuesday afternoon by a fallen tree on nearby Wide Lane which had to be removed.

According to the Met Office, 33.8mm of rainfall was recorded overnight on Monday at Alice Holt Lodge and 31.6mm at Middle Wallop, with wind speeds of up to 74mph on the Solent.

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