‘Super storm’ batters West Sussex

THE aftermath of St Jude storm continues to batter West Sussex this morning (Monday, October 28) as the county deals with the debris following winds of up to 99mph.

Network Rail decided yesterday evening that due to a high risk of trees and debris falling onto railway lines all Southern and Gatwick Express services will not run before 9am.

Bus routes are also severely affected.

The A24 London Road in Washington is partially blocked at the A283 The Pike junction due to a tree fal- A24 London Road in Washington partially blocked at the A283 The Pike junction.

There is a lane partially blocked in both directions between the A29 Stane Street junction in Adversane and the B2139 Coolham Road junction in Thakeham.

Passengers due to fly out of Gatwick today are advised to check with their airline as dozens of flights have already been cancelled.

Superintendent Grenville Wilson has been leading the Sussex Police operation to deal with the storm. He said: “While we know we are going to experience the full severity of the storm for a few more hours yet, the major impact at the moment would appear to be on the county’s roads. The Environment Agency has issued 12 coastal flood alerts right along the coast and tell me that there has been more rain than predicted, but as yet we have not seen any significant problems.

“We are now watching to see what the height of the winds will bring and we anticipate that there will be more road disruption caused by fallen trees. Roads are being closed and re-opening all the time, However, unless your journey really is necessary I would suggest that you try to delay it until at least lunchtime.

“If you’re not off to work and are planning to venture out to look at Mother Nature at her mightiest, do look after yourselves. At 3.30am, I was watching people on CCTV on Brighton Beach dancing around at the waves’ edge, occasionally being overtaken by the advancing water. One slip and they could have found themselves in real danger, along with the people who would try to rescue them.

“We witnessed the tragic power of the sea at Newhaven yesterday and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the young lad who is sadly still missing. I don’t want to see that repeated.”

The Met office forecasts that high winds will continue particularly along the coast but will ease throughout the morning.