Storm update: Hundreds still without power as more bad weather is forecast

Hundreds of people are still recovering from the effects of Monday night’s storm, with 890 Sussex homes still without power and more bad weather forecast for the rest of the year.

Power engineers the country over are working tirelessly to restore electricity into homes after winds of up to 80mph caused extensive damage to power cables across the South.

On Christmas Eve, the UK Power Network reported more than 12,000 Sussex homes were without power and while that number was effectively halved during Tuesday, 5,385 families across the county were still forced to face Christmas Day without any electricity in their homes.

The power company, which supplies electricity to eight million properties in the South East, provided hundreds of Christmas dinners for people without power, at restaurants and mobile facilities across the South East as a gesture of goodwill.

The bad weather also caused major disruption to the train lines, with Southern Railway being forced to cancel all services into and out of Eastbourne owing to a combination of flooding, landslide, blockages and power supply failure,

Although the majority of services are up and running again, Eastbourne passengers are still being urged to check the company’s website before travelling as a number of tracks on route to London and Gatwick are still blocked.

While the hope is that the worst of the wet weather is over, the Met Office has forecast further rain and winds for the beginning of next week.

The Environment Agency still has 24 flood warnings in place, where flooding is expected, and 68 flood alerts in force, where flooding is possible. These include Hellingly and Horsebridge, Alfriston, around the Cuckmere River and Langney Haven.

The East Sussex Highways team cleared more than 200 fallen trees from roads earlier this week, including one that completely blocked Glanville Road, Meads.

The Fire Brigades Union cancelled their strike action on Christmas Eve to help the recovery process. Incidents the East Sussex Fire and Rescue team attended include signage blown from a shop in Lower Willingdon, a pipe swinging four storeys high in Seaford and a road traffic collision in Pevensey. They also helped with issues of flooding and blockages across East Sussex.

Sussex Police are also continuing to warn motorists of the dangers on the roads. Chief Inspector Ed De La Rue said, “We are anticipating more heavy rain, up to 30mm and gusts of 60 miles per hour in some areas, however it is not expected to be as severe as earlier on in the week. Nonetheless we are asking people to take care if you are out and about.

“Please be prepared to allow enough time to make journeys and watch out for hazards when out of the county’s road. Be aware of strong winds, large puddles and fallen trees and branches. Be cautious and slow down. If you are out driving make sure you take supplies in case the journey takes longer than anticipated, have a blanket, waterproofs and some drinking water. Please think carefully before you leave the house and if it is not essential we would advise you to stay indoors.

“There are still people across the county who have no mains power; if you are using generators, candles, open fires or other sources of heat, light or power please be careful, as they may not be as safe as your normal electrical supply.”