Heavy rain and strong winds in Brighton, Hove and Sussex affecting Christmas getaway: liveblog

This live event has finished

Latest

  • Amber warning for rain across the south east
  • Yellow warning for wind across the south east
  • Highways Agency warning of difficult driving conditions
  • Ferries and trains affected by the storm

5:51pm

We are going to wind down this live blog now but you can follow the latest storm news with this blog within a blog:

5:48pm

West Pier earlier today:

The Argus:

5:33pm

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5:27pm

I love this photo. I just hope it is real:

5:26pm

The roof has been blown off the Kingsway Hotel in Worthing. Fire crews are in attendance.

5:25pm

5:24pm

5:23pm

5:10pm

That is a miserable sight for any train user. And it is unlikely to get any better any time soon I'm afraid.

5:09pm

Cancelled services from Brighton station:

Hove 17:14 

London Victoria 17:19 

Eastbourne 17:20 

Bedford (via Herne Hill) 17:24 

Ashford International TBC 17:30 

Lewes 17:35 Cancelled

Littlehampton 17:45 

Hove 17:53 

London Victoria (via Gatwick Airport)17:55

Bedford (via London Bridge) 18:03 

5:05pm

Here is a round up of some more weather-related incidents today:

  • A chimney stack has blown over and smashed through a conservatory in Rudgwick, near Horsham.
  • A telegraph pole has been blown into the road on the A272 Midhurt.
  • Surface flooding has been reported at Forest View, East Grinstead, with water coming up under a front door.
  • A tree has blown over into a bank on Three Bridges Road, Crawley.
  • Unsecure hoarding has been reported on Baker Street, Brighton.

5:01pm

The Christmas Day swim in Brighton has been put in jeopardy because of the severe weather:

Swimmers hoping to take part in a traditional Christmas Day dip in the sea will have to wait until next year following a decision to close the beach.

Brighton and Hove City Council will close the part of the beach where the swim takes place because of the severe weather conditions.

Last year council officials closed the beach because of "extremely dangerous" conditions which saw winds of up to 30mph, a high tide and a heavy sea swell forecast.

The swim, organised by Brighton Swimming Club every year since 1860, usually takes place near the Palace Pier at 11am and attracts scores of participants.

A council spokeswoman said: "The weather forecast for the Christmas period at the moment is for high winds and dangerous conditions for both novice and experienced swimmers."

The sea temperature is also about 5C at this time of year and can be even colder, meaning those who go swimming risk hypothermia, she said.

A seafront team will be on the beach from 8.30am on Christmas Day to put up signage, inform the public of the temporary closure and give advice regarding the conditions, the council said.

The spokeswoman said: "Sea swimming takes skill, stamina and knowledge of the physical dangers.

Even on a calm day sea currents, undertow or a sudden change in weather can create life-threatening hazards without warning."

Fiona Southwell, secretary of the sea swimming section of Brighton Swimming Club, said she would be making a decision tomorrow as to whether its members would swim.

4:59pm

4:59pm

We don't normally like sending you elsewhere but this is fab to show the storm hitting Sussex.

http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/1000hPa/orthographic=354.20,53.47,2442

4:58pm

Another update from Network Rail:

"Very strong winds and heavy rain are affecting England on Monday 23 December. The Sussex area will see heavy persistent rain across the region with wind speeds in excess of 60 mph from 16:00 on Monday through to early morning Tuesday 24 December. During this time winds may reach up to 80 mph."

4:51pm

4:49pm

We've just had reports of a 13-year-old girl taken to hospital after a piece of hoarding flew off Brighton College in Eastern Road and hit her.

It is understood people had to help pull her out of the debris.

4:36pm

4:36pm

Coastguards are warning of hurricane force 12 winds tonight on the south coast.

Dover Coastguard, which covers East Sussex, said the Met Office had issued the most severe warning which could produce waves of up to 14 metres.

Meanwhile Solent Coastguard is warning of a force 11 violent storm.

4:29pm

The good people of Newaven are bereft of BBC Sussex as a transmitter has been knocked out by the wind.

4:24pm

4:19pm

4:10pm

An update from Southern Rail, and not a good one. Services tomorrow likely to be affected by the clean up from tonight's storm:

"Because of the high winds Southern trains will run at reduced speeds from 4pm today which will lead to some trains being cancelled and delays to others.

"There is a possibility of line blockages during the evening due to fallen trees which may lead to greater disruption. If you are able to travel earlier than you usually would today you are advised to do so.

"In order to ensure safe operation on Tuesday 24 December routes will need to be checked and any obstructions cleared before train services can start.

"This is highly likely to lead to services being significantly disrupted or cancelled and it may take some time to clear routes, depending on the extent of damage caused by the storm.

"Passengers are asked to check before they travel and to plan for a later start of train services on Tuesday morning."

4:05pm

3:52pm

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3:40pm

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3:00pm

2:57pm

2:56pm

2:47pm

Here is an update from Brighton and Hove Buses on how the weather is affecting services:

"Weather conditions along the south coast are currently worsening, and so from approximately 3pm all service 12/12A will operate via Lewes Road, the A27 and A26 between Brighton Old Steine and Denton Corner in both directions.

"Churchill Square and North Street will be served as normal and buses towards Eastbourne will serve stop D at Old Steine (not the Sea Life Centre).

"Normal route will be operated between Denton Corner and Eastbourne. A shuttle service with single-deckers will operate between Churchill Square and Newhaven Denton Corner along the A259 via the North Peacehaven loop replacing all of services 12/12A/12X/14/14C along on this section of route, although at a reduced frequency. We regret that we will be unable to serve the County Hospital and Eastern Road on these buses.

"Please be aware that there is also significant traffic congestion across the city and beyond and this is causing major delays to services.

"We will endeavour to operate service 14 journeys to/from Hangleton as normal, and service 27 too, but these may also be subject to change if the weather conditions worsen even further.

"We regret any inconvenience that may be caused."

2:40pm

2:38pm

2:37pm

2:35pm

The latest flood update from the Environment Agency:

"The flood risk for the next 3 days is Medium. Heavy rain today (Monday) and overnight into tomorrow (Tuesday) brings a medium likelihood of significant disruption from surface water and river flooding to southern counties of England and a medium likelihood of significant disruption from surface water flooding to South Wales in the areas coloured amber in the maps below."

2:31pm

An update for those looking to fly away somewhere nicer:

"London Gatwick is currently operating as normal. Due to expected high winds later today, we are advising passengers to check with their airline before travelling and to leave additional time for their journey to the airport."

2:28pm

2:27pm

Even the Christmas trees are struggling:

The Argus:

2:26pm

And you can see why:

The Argus:

2:26pm

Lots of services being affected by the weather:

2:24pm

2:23pm

1:59pm

Having just ventured outside I can safely say it is horrible out there.

1:59pm

1:28pm

1:27pm

1:27pm

Some problems on the trains:

"Owing to electrical supply problems between Brighton and Lewes all lines are affected. Servises may be subject to delays"

1:19pm

Some bad news for anyone planning to take the kids ice skating today (though in this weather it might not have been too much fun):

"We regret to inform everybody that from 1.45pm onward today, all skating sessions are now cancelled due to extreme wind conditions. Please be assured that all tickets purchased will be honoured.

"Once again we would like to apologise for the inconvenience this will cause but our first concern is always to our customers safety. We will be open as normal tomorrow at 9.30am."

1:17pm

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12:57pm

12:49pm

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12:20pm

12:20pm

12:17pm

This is the scene at Brighton Marina:

The Argus:

12:15pm

With weather warnings in place across East Sussex and Brighton and Hove, firefighters are asking people to take precautions against flooding and during the Christmas getaway.

On the move

If you are taking to the roads in East Sussex and Brighton and Hove, please be careful and follow our simple advice:

Drive according to the road conditions and allow extra time for your journey if necessary;
Remember to keep your distance from the car in front of you – it takes much longer to stop in the wet and fallen leaves can be just as slippery and treacherous for motorists as driving on ice;
Make sure that you and your passengers are wearing seatbelts – you are 50% more likely to be killed or seriously injured if you are not wearing one;
Avoid being distracted and never use your mobile phone while driving;
Stay alert for other road users including people walking, jogging or cycling. Watch out for children at their bus stops as many schools return from the half-term holiday on Monday;
Check that your lights and windscreen wipers are working properly – visibility during the winter months can be poor and there are fewer hours of daylight;
Make sure that your tyres have sufficient tread and that they are inflated in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines;

Flooding advice

Floods can happen quickly so don’t wait until it is too late to think about preparation.

Before a flood:
Do organise some sandbags to block doors and airbricks but remember to ensure that there is adequate ventilation in your home.
Do find out whether your area has flooded before and if there is any specific flood advice for your area.
Do find out where to turn off your electricity and gas supplies in advance.
Don't underestimate the damage that a flood can do, check with your insurance company that you have flood cover.

When a flood starts:
Do put your safety first, stay alert, events can change very quickly during a flood; listen out for any warnings on the radio and the TV.
Do move people or pets upstairs or to higher ground, identify a place where you and your family can keep away from the floodwater.
Don't under any circumstances drive or walk through floodwater.
Remember, items that have been in contact with floodwater may be contaminated and contain sewage, therefore make sure that anything that has been in contact with the water is safely cleaned.

After the flood:
Do get in contact with your insurance company and let them know what has happened.
Do open your doors and windows to ventilate your home

12:09pm

And some more detail including 75mph winds inland and up to 85mph along the coast. Power could be affected.

"Southwesterly gales and locally severe gales will continue across southern and eastern parts of England during Monday night, but are expected to strengthen further across parts of southeast England, in the Amber warning area, during the early hours of Tuesday, with gusts of 65-75 mph inland and 75-85 mph along exposed coasts.

"The public should be prepared for disruption, particularly to travel and for interruptions to power supplies."

12:08pm

Here is the latest from Met Office on that upgraded wind warning. Sounds like it will be very blowy out there.

"Winds will strengthen further across southeast England during the early hours of Tuesday, with the potential for damaging gusts inland as well as along the coast. The winds will ease quickly from the west before dawn."

12:06pm

12:03pm

12:02pm

If this tweet is true I really want to see a photo. Can anyone help?

12:02pm

11:56am

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11:37am

For those heading Essex/Kent way:

11:29am

There are currently 21 flood alerts in force across the south east region from the Environment Agency.

The Environment Agency and its professional partners are warning communities to be vigilant and prepared for possible flooding on Monday and Tuesday.

Forecasts suggest weather conditions will be unsettled across the region and heavy rain showers are forecast for Monday afternoon into Christmas Eve, which could cause flooding from rivers and surface water.

People are being urged to heed three key warnings:

• Stay away from promenades along the south coast on Monday and Tuesday because of the wet and windy conditions.
• Residents who are set to be away for the festive period are urged to check the flood risk for their local area and, if necessary, take steps to protect valuable items left at home.
• Drivers are being urged to check the latest flood updates ahead of their journey - and to not to drive through dangerous floodwater.

If there is widespread and heavy rainfall it will fall onto catchments that are already wet or saturated following the recent rainfall across the region, which may cause flooding of low-lying land and roads in the area.

The Environment Agency is working closely with the Met Office, continuously monitoring river levels and up-to-date information will be available on the Environment Agency website.

Environment Agency staff are closely monitoring the situation, and are out checking flood defences and clearing trash screens.

Simon Beavan, regional flood and coastal risk manager at the Environment Agency, said: “With more unsettled weather forecast for the south east, following recent heavy rainfall, there could be a lot of water in low-lying lands and on roads.

"Those who live in an area vulnerable to flooding should think about the precautions they can take to limit the damage a flood can cause to themselves and their property. "

11:21am

11:20am

11:16am

A couple of accidents. Not sure if they are weather related as yet but be careful out there.

 

 

11:06am

11:00am

Bad news for those using Southeastern services from Hastings.

A replacement bus service is running between Tunbridge Wells and Hastings due to a landslide at Wadhurst.

Journey times are extended by about 30 minutes, with disruption expected to continue throughout the day.

10:59am

Anyone travelling via the Shoreham flyover should be aware gusts of up to 70mph are possible between midday today and 4am tomorrow.

Drivers are being warned to take extreme caution.

10:51am

And for those who like their weather forecast in video format:

10:50am

A look outside the window at Hollingbury towers reveals the rain has arrived. And it is set to stay for the next 24 hours. Here's the latest weather forecast:

10:45am

10:30am

10:29am

Here is the advice from John McTaggart, head of on-road services at the Highways Agency, for those looking to drive today:

“We are working closely with the Met Office to monitor conditions. Road users are urged to check traffic and weather conditions before setting out on journeys and to heed any advice such as speed restrictions once they are on the strategic road network.

“Be aware of sudden gusts of wind, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space. In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close certain bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow the clearly signed diversion routes. “

10:17am

And it is not just transport that might be affected by the high winds:

10:14am

10:04am

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9:49am

The result of all that wind and rain is that you should probably allow extra time for any journey as already transport services are reporting possible delays.

Transmanche Ferries East Sussex are facing disruptions. 

Southern Rail has said its trains will be limited to 50mph due to the weather meaning "some trains to be cancelled and others, particularly on main line and coastal routes will be subject to delay".

Southeastern are facing a similar problem. The rail operator said: "Weather reports are for heavy rain and strong winds from 4pm in the afternoon through to 9am tomorrow. As a precaution a speed restriction of 50 miles an hour will be in place. There may be some services cancelled at short notice - particularly in the Kent and Sussex coastal areas."

9:40am

There is no escaping it. The weather today is going to be terrible. High winds and rain will batter the county and there is likely to be travel disruption, flooding and a lot of wetness.

This is the Met Office's forecast: "A deep area of low pressure will sweep an active frontal system across England and Wales on Monday. This will bring 20-40 mm rainfall quite widely, with over 60 mm likely across parts of the high ground of southern England and South Wales. Falling onto saturated ground, this will bring the risk of both surface water and river flooding.

"Meanwhile, south to southwesterly winds will increase with gusts 70-80 mph likely around exposed coasts, particularly along the English Channel. Further inland, gusts of 50-60 mph are likely through the amber area, with a lower risk of gusts reaching 70 mph - more especially across southeast England during the evening."

Comments (7)

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10:12am Mon 23 Dec 13

The Prophet of Doom says...

It's windy, will most likely be wet and there will be many people clogging the ether and airwaves trying to have their say on what you could find out by looking out of the window.

Boring.
It's windy, will most likely be wet and there will be many people clogging the ether and airwaves trying to have their say on what you could find out by looking out of the window. Boring. The Prophet of Doom

2:09pm Mon 23 Dec 13

Terry K says...

Great advice from Sussex safer roads, if it's raining, then use your wipers when driving lol.
Great advice from Sussex safer roads, if it's raining, then use your wipers when driving lol. Terry K

5:38pm Mon 23 Dec 13

Sussex jim says...

I have just come home from work; and checked e-mails, local news, etc.
It seems that,judging by the closeness of the cancellations,that every train out of Brighton has been cancelled! What with buses catching fire- the only way to travel is by private car/taxi. Perhaps, after 100 years, we may finally realise that the road-going internal-combustion engine vehicle is the most reliable: and should no longer be so heavily taxed.
I have just come home from work; and checked e-mails, local news, etc. It seems that,judging by the closeness of the cancellations,that every train out of Brighton has been cancelled! What with buses catching fire- the only way to travel is by private car/taxi. Perhaps, after 100 years, we may finally realise that the road-going internal-combustion engine vehicle is the most reliable: and should no longer be so heavily taxed. Sussex jim

5:53pm Mon 23 Dec 13

her professional says...

Sussex jim wrote:
I have just come home from work; and checked e-mails, local news, etc.
It seems that,judging by the closeness of the cancellations,that every train out of Brighton has been cancelled! What with buses catching fire- the only way to travel is by private car/taxi. Perhaps, after 100 years, we may finally realise that the road-going internal-combustion engine vehicle is the most reliable: and should no longer be so heavily taxed.
One bus actually, a and there are problems on the roads all over the place.
[quote][p][bold]Sussex jim[/bold] wrote: I have just come home from work; and checked e-mails, local news, etc. It seems that,judging by the closeness of the cancellations,that every train out of Brighton has been cancelled! What with buses catching fire- the only way to travel is by private car/taxi. Perhaps, after 100 years, we may finally realise that the road-going internal-combustion engine vehicle is the most reliable: and should no longer be so heavily taxed.[/p][/quote]One bus actually, a and there are problems on the roads all over the place. her professional

6:17pm Mon 23 Dec 13

BornInBrighton1968 says...

Is this the same 'Global Warming' that a few years ago, the Greens were telling us would turn the south-east into a waterless desert?
Is this the same 'Global Warming' that a few years ago, the Greens were telling us would turn the south-east into a waterless desert? BornInBrighton1968

6:39pm Mon 23 Dec 13

sugar man says...

BornInBrighton1968 wrote:
Is this the same 'Global Warming' that a few years ago, the Greens were telling us would turn the south-east into a waterless desert?
no, it isn't.
[quote][p][bold]BornInBrighton1968[/bold] wrote: Is this the same 'Global Warming' that a few years ago, the Greens were telling us would turn the south-east into a waterless desert?[/p][/quote]no, it isn't. sugar man

5:36am Tue 24 Dec 13

SimonS says...

BornInBrighton1968 wrote:
Is this the same 'Global Warming' that a few years ago, the Greens were telling us would turn the south-east into a waterless desert?
Obviously the jury is still out as to whether this is caused by pollution etc though, but to be fair did they ever say it would be a 'waterless desert'?

I thought the argument has always been that it would just make the weather more extreme. I think this is why it's called climate change now rather than global warning.
[quote][p][bold]BornInBrighton1968[/bold] wrote: Is this the same 'Global Warming' that a few years ago, the Greens were telling us would turn the south-east into a waterless desert?[/p][/quote]Obviously the jury is still out as to whether this is caused by pollution etc though, but to be fair did they ever say it would be a 'waterless desert'? I thought the argument has always been that it would just make the weather more extreme. I think this is why it's called climate change now rather than global warning. SimonS

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