Dramatic weather whips south coast

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Wild winds and rainstorms lashing Bexhill and the south coast have caused problems for residents and emergency services alike.

Sussex Police reported that Herbrand Walk was closed during the worst of the weather at the end of last week, with cars stranded, while Peartree Lane and Ninfield Road were also flooded and multiple trees had fallen down on Collington Avenue.

There was also a warning to homeowners that strong winds blowing down fences has resulted in opportunists driving around offering to repair fencing for extortionate amounts of money.

Public engagement officer James Phillips said that the general message to the public throughout the bad weather was essentially ‘do you really need to go out?’ with Bexhill Police were getting many calls from people who were stranded.

Meanwhile East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has responded to a wide range of calls including a dangerously collapsed chimney on a building in London Road last Thursday.

The wind had weakened plaster and brickwork with the chimney pot then falling apart through the roof into rooms underneath and also onto the ground at the side of the building - no-one was hurt.

On another occasion they rescued a woman driver who was stuck in her Mercedes in water in Peartree Lane - the car had stopped and she was trapped inside. The car was pushed out of the water with the woman still inside it.

On Saturday a large window blew out of a building in Sutherland Avenue and was hanging across the pavement until fire fighters were able to remove the unit.

Later that afternoon they dealt with flooding in a basement in Channel View East. The water had affected the electrics and the basement was filling with smoke - the team set about venting the smoke, isolating the power supply, and finally pumped out the water. This week saw 104 flood warnings still in force, the majority across the south east and south west, and more than 200 flood alerts. People were again advised to stay away from coastal roads, paths, proms and jetties.

Paul Mustow, Flood Risk Manager at the Environment Agency said: “The risk of flooding continues this week, with communities in the south west and south east urged to be particularly vigilant.

“Environment Agency teams have again been out in force over the weekend checking and maintaining flood defences, clearing blockages in watercourses, deploying temporary defences and monitoring water levels and will continue to work around the clock to protect communities at risk.

“We would ask people to be prepared by checking their flood risk, signing up to free flood warnings and keeping an eye on the latest flood updates via the EA website and Twitter.”