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Storm Eunice: 'extremely strong winds' to peak on Friday and continue over weekend - Travel Advice Issued

Storm Damage Fallen Tree on Road

Storm Damage Fallen Tree Across Road

Devon County Council is advising people to only travel if absolutely necessary with 'extremely strong winds' expected over the next few days and reaching a peak in the early hours of Friday morning - 18th February.

The Met Office has escalated its Yellow Wind Warning for the region , issued on Tuesday, to Amber. And now a Red warning has been issued for the region of northern Devon and its coastline.

The area is expected to experience gale force winds caused by Storm Eunice - they will be at their strongest in coastal areas between 3am to 9am on Friday morning, with gusts of 90-100mph possible.

There is an increasing likelihood of widespread inland wind gusts of 60-70 mph and up to 80 mph in a few places. Strong winds are also expected to continue over the weekend.

The Met Office says that Eunice may cause 'significant disruption' on the county's roads, and that there is a good chance that flying debris could result in 'a danger to life.'

The high winds will also affect some other services and the list advised so far includes:

  • All waste collections in Torridge have been suspended for Friday, mainly affecting the Torrington area. We are asking all households due to have a collection to hold onto their refuse, recycling and garden waste until the next scheduled collection as we will not be able to carry out additional collections on an alternative days.
  • Recycling centres operated by Devon County Council will also be closed on Friday.
  • Our Council Telephone system has experienced intermittent disruption today (Thursday 17th February) and we apologise if this has affected you.
  • Some schools will be closed but please check the DCC website for updates regarding these School Closures Archive - Schools Information - Education and Families (devon.gov.uk)

Damage to buildings and homes is possible, with roofs blown off and power lines brought down. Roads, bridges and railway lines are likely to close, with delays and cancellations to bus, train, ferry services and flights.

The high winds are likely to result in the temporary closure of some Bridges and Taw Bridge in Barnstaple has been advised so far but other bridges may also be affected. Wind speeds are being constantly monitored, so please check before you travel. If you must travel during a bridge closure please plan your journey, find a safer alternative route, and leave extra time.

On the coast, flooding and large waves are likely. During these times people are advised to stay away from coastal paths and coastal areas as beach debris is likely to be thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties.

In preparation extra staff are being drafted into Devon County Council's Network Operations Control Centre and extra highways teams will be ready to respond. Teams of tree-surgeons will also be on stand-by to clear any fallen trees on the county's roads.

People are being reminded to adhere to the following advice during and after the storm:

  • Avoid overnight travel unless absolutely essential as roads will always be more hazardous at night with poorer visibility;
  • Be alert to fallen trees and branches, particularly on minor roads where they may not have been reported;
  • Consider if your journey is essential and be alert to weather warnings;
  • Never drive through floodwater or swollen flowing water, you don't know how deep it is. Find an alternative route;
  • Allow additional time for your journey;
  • Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front and leave plenty of room if you're overtaking;
  • Drive with care and according to the conditions.

Further advice and updates will also be posted to the council social media channels

17 February 2022

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