UPDATE: Hundreds still without power and more flooding as weather chaos hits Sussex again (From The Argus)
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UPDATE: Hundreds still without power and more flooding as weather chaos hits Sussex again
10:12am Friday 27th December 2013 in News
Hundreds are still without power as more wild weather hit Sussex overnight.
The latest bout of heavy rain and wind led to more flooding across the county.
The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for severe rain across the area until 9pm tonight.
Nearly 900 people woke up this morning to no electricity after the damage done to power lines after Monday night’s storm.
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UK Power Networks said it was moving engineers from the east of England to the south to help work on fixing power lines for those still affected.
A spokesman said: “Engineers and tree cutters are clearing and repairing the lines – hard work and time-consuming, but good progress is being made. They are working from job-to-job, targeting larger jobs first where many customers are affected.”
As a gesture of goodwill UK Power Networks has decided to boost the industry standard payment from £27 to £75 for customers who are without power for 48-60 hours including Christmas Day, and additional payments will be made to any customers off supply for longer.
Flights are operating as normal from London Gatwick’s North and South terminals following the further rainfall and high winds overnight.
A spokesman said: “We have additional teams of engineers, electrical staff and volunteers at the airport to minimise the risk of disruption from potential further flooding.
“Contingency plans have also already been put in place to minimise the risk of potential flooding following disruption earlier this week.
“Due to high winds causing disruption at some Irish and domestic airports, we advise passengers flying to these destinations to check with their airlines before travelling. Information is also available at www.gatwickairport.com and via our Twitter feed @Gatwick_Airport.”
The Environment Agency still has three flood warnings in place, meaning flooding is expected, in Sussex at the River Arun in Amberley, Barcombe Mills, and Hellingly and Horsebridge.
There are further flood alerts, meaning flooding is possible, at the Cuckmere, Rother and Ouse rivers.
A spokesman said: “There will be ongoing disruption across the south of England, particularly the south east – such as along the River Medway and the Kentish Stour around Ashford and Canterbury.
People are urged to prepare for flooding, listen to the advice of emergency services and stay tuned to local radio stations for the latest information.”
Prime Minister David Cameron praised flood workers through his Twitter account.
He Tweeted: "An enormous thank you to the @EnvAgency and emergency services who are doing an amazing job with the floods and extreme weather."
The storm is expected to cause fresh travel problems for airlines, train operators and bus companies as well as for drivers returning to work or home following the Christmas break.
Network Rail advises that routes will need to be checked at first light and tracks will need to be cleared of any fallen trees and any damage will need repaired before train services can start.
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