Winter gales cause damage to property in South East

Hayley Roberts with a neighbours tree which fell into her garden
Hayley Roberts with a neighbours tree which fell into her garden

HIGH winds brought down trees and damaged properties on Monday night and the gales may return again tomorrow.

Hayley Roberts, from Grasmere Close, had a lucky escape when a tree from her neighbour’s garden fell in the wind and missed her house by centimetres.

Hayley said, “It came down at about midnight and there was this massive bang.

“If it had been any closer it could have come through the bedroom window and killed me and my partner. And we have got two young children.”

The tree has damaged Hayley’s fence, water feature, conservatory and satellite dish.

The Wish Tower cafe, which closed recently and needs a major refurbishment, also lost part of its roof in the stormy weather.

The winds were coupled with heavy rainfall and firefighters were called out to a flooding problem in Compton Street at around 5.30pm.

A spokesperson from East Sussex Fire and Rescue said there had been a number of weather-related call outs to dangerous structures across the county.

However, while firefighters rushed out to incidents in Newhaven and Bexhil, the service reported less damage in Eastbourne.

The Environment Agency was closely monitoring the region’s coastline as the Met Office predicted adverse weather around the coast.

Latest forecasts also predict that the unsettled weather will return at the end of this week with the possibility of further heavy rain and severe gales tomorrow and Friday.

James Humphrys, Environment Agency area manager, said, “With stormy weather on the way towards the end of this week, our teams will continue to work hard to ensure we are prepared.”

The rain could also lead to some localised flooding from run-off and drains unable to cope with the increased volumes of water.

The Environment Agency is in close communication with local authorities and emergency services should there be any surface water flooding.

Mr Humphrys added, “People should be aware that there could be a lot of water around, so avoid trying to drive or walk through any flooding and be sensible when out and about, particularly around the coast.

“Now is a good time for anyone who lives in an area vulnerable to flooding to think about the precautions they can take to protect their properties.”

To register for the service or for advice on things you can do to limit the damage to your property call Floodline on 0845 988 1188, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Further advice and latest information on flood warnings is also available at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood.