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Warning to avoid travel unless essential as Storm Eunice approaches Devon

Published: 17 February 2022

Warning to avoid travel unless essential as Storm Eunice approaches Devon Storm Eunice approaches Devon

People are being advised 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.

The Met Office has issued an Amber Wind Warning for Exeter for Friday morning.

A Red warning – the highest alert - has been issued for northern Devon and its coastline.

The South West is expected to be battered by 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 services and it is likely all of Devon’s recycling centres will be closed on Friday.

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

Wind speeds are being constantly monitored, and people are being urged to check before they travel. Anyone who must travel during a bridge closure should plan their journey, find a safer alternative route, and leave extra time.

And 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.

The County Council is reminding people of the following advice:

  • 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.

For more information and winter travel advice visit the County Council’s winter travel webpages or for updates on Twitter follow @DevonAlert

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