England (Parliament Politic Magazine) – As Storm Ciarán approaches, individuals are taking measures to safeguard their homes and businesses, while authorities have closed roads and canceled ferry services in the UK.
Destructive winds are expected to sweep through southern England, with gusts reaching up to 95mph (152km/h) in the Channel Islands.
The Met Office has issued warnings about potential travel disruptions, building damage, and the risk of flying debris. Additionally, there are currently 24 flood warnings in effect across England.
This unsettling weather situation coincides with the Met Office’s announcement of the UK provisionally recording its sixth wettest October on record, largely due to the heavy rainfall brought by Storm Babet.
The Met Office has issued yellow and amber warnings, signifying potential hazards to life and property, for wind and rain in southern and eastern England.
Jersey Met has issued a red wind warning, the most severe level, for Wednesday night into Thursday, warning of storm-force gusts, heavy rainfall, and coastal flooding.
East Of England Under Yellow Warnings
Starting from Wednesday, the East of England is under yellow warnings, encompassing regions such as central Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Southend-on-Sea, and Hertfordshire.
Exposed coastal areas in southern England may experience gusts of up to 70mph (112km/h), while southern and western regions can expect 20-30mm of rainfall.
Conditions related to Storm Ciarán are anticipated to be the most severe in over 36 years in the Channel Islands. Major coastal roads in Jersey are set to close, and schools and the airport will be shut on Thursday.
- Alert levels for the Essex coast have been raised to amber from 06:00 GMT until 17:00 on Thursday.
- Southern Railway has strongly recommended that commuters consider working from home, as they may be unable to provide rail replacement transportation.
- The RAC has cautioned drivers in the southern and western parts of the UK to avoid coastal and rural roads, where the risk of falling trees is higher. They’ve also advised caution when passing high-sided vehicles.
- People in Jersey and Guernsey have been urged not to hoard goods after supermarket shelves were cleared.
- To mitigate the impact of the storm, 200 one-tonne bags of sand have been placed at the top of slipways along the south coast of Jersey.
- Residents in Swindon have received over 200 sandbags, and council teams are working to clear gullies and drains.
Flood Alerts In Effect In The East England
Throughout England, there are currently 24 flood warnings and 116 flood alerts in effect. Yellow rain warnings have been issued for various regions, including eastern England, London, the South East, South West, North West, West Midlands, and Wales, starting from 18:00 on Wednesday.
Similarly, yellow wind warnings have been issued for the East of England, London, South East, South West, and Wales, commencing at 21:00 on Wednesday and extending until 23:59 on Thursday.
In Scotland, a yellow rain warning has been issued for portions of south-west, central, and eastern areas, spanning from 03:00 to 15:00 on Wednesday. Additionally, another yellow rain warning covers the south-west and Lothian Borders, in effect from 06:00 on Thursday to 06:00 on Friday. A previously issued rain warning for Northern Ireland has been rescinded.
East Devon District Council has reported the installation of a temporary sand barrier and a fabric membrane to mitigate the impact of storm-driven waves.
Storm Affects Life In East England
Given that trees are still adorned with leaves and the ground is already saturated, Devon County Council has expressed concern about the likelihood of debris on roads and the potential for highway flooding.
To address this, they have deployed additional staff to monitor highways, with tree surgeons and gully cleaners on standby to maintain clear drains and gullies.
Storm Ciarán arrives on the heels of recent localized weather incidents over the weekend. Large waves caused coastal barriers to collapse in North Tyneside, resulting in the evacuation of homes and damage to shops. In County Durham, a village experienced inundation by “several feet of water,” prompting further evacuations.
Meanwhile, in West Sussex on Sunday, Bognor Regis saw a caravan park submerged, the car park of the town’s Tesco supermarket flooded, and heavy winds tore the roof off a house, with residents likening the experience to a “tornado.