Advice has been issued on travel and flooding ahead of Friday’s bad weather.
17 February 2022
Storm Eunice has prompted advice to prepare for power cuts, keep pets safe and avoid storm selfies.
Here are some top tips to keep as safe as possible during the extreme weather.
People have been advised to avoid rail travel if at all possible on Friday, with services expected to face disruption due to speed restrictions and a chance of debris on the lines.
If travel by road is a must, motorists are urged to be careful.
“We urge drivers to remain cautious and to carry out the relevant safety checks before setting off on their journeys,” said Mark Newberry, commercial director at roadside assistance provider Green Flag.
“It’s particularly important that people are as prepared as possible to withstand the high expected wind speeds and potential snow in some areas.”
They advised people to plan their journey, hold on to their car doors when getting out of or into the vehicle, avoid parking under trees or near a building’s roof due to the potential danger from falling debris, and leave space between themselves and other motorists.
Sean Sidley, of the AA, said: “Extra care is needed when driving near wooded areas, crossing bridges and when passing high-sided vehicles and caravans. Particular care is also needed when passing cyclists and motorcyclists.”
On foot, people have been advised to take extra care and stay away from coastal paths and promenades due to the risk of large waves and falling debris.
Mr Sidley warned motorists to beware when driving under railway bridges, which he said are more likely to flood.
He said: “If the road ahead is flooded, don’t chance it – flood water can be deceptively deep so turn around and find another route.”
Just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move a car, the Environment Agency said, as it warned motorists to avoid driving through flood water.
Natural Resources Wales said people can check their flood risk and register for free flood warnings for coastal and main river flooding either by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188, which is open 24 hours a day, or visiting their website.
Stefan Laeger, the Environment Agency’s flood duty manager, said teams are “out on the ground closing gates, erecting barriers and clearing screens where flood debris can build up, and stand ready to operate further flood defences if needed”.
He warned of “potentially severe coastal flooding to parts of the west, south-west and south coast of England” from early on Friday.
– Storm selfies
People have been urged to avoid the temptation to take so-called storm selfies.
Mr Laeger said: “Please remember to take extreme care on coastal paths and promenades. We urge people to stay safe on the coast and warn wave-watchers against the unnecessary danger of taking ‘storm selfies’.”
– Power cuts
People are urged to prepare for electricity outages by ensuring they have their mobile devices and portable chargers powered up, and keep a torch handy.
If someone comes across a downed power line they are advised to keep away, call 105 to report it for free – or 03457 643 643 if in Northern Ireland – and, in the case of an immediate risk to life, dial 999.
Ross Easton, spokesperson for Energy Networks Association, which represents the UK’s energy network operators, said: “The energy networks are moving teams and equipment to strategic locations, ready to respond if needed.
“We are contacting customers in vulnerable situations to ensure they’re aware of the warnings in place and informed about what to do.”
The RSPCA has issued some advice for pet owners to ensure their animals stay safe in the dangerous conditions.
The charity’s spokesperson Amy Ockelford said: “We’re urging pet owners to keep an eye on the forecast where they live and to plan ahead to ensure the safety of their animals.”
Owners are being reminded to make sure they have an adequate supply of food and medication for their pets and provide a quiet and safe space in case the storms become frightening for them.
For outdoor pets, owners are urged to give them extra bedding and ensure poultry, like chickens and ducks, have safe, dry shelter.
If the weather is extreme, outdoor pets should either be moved inside or into a suitable outbuilding, the charity added.
Owners should have a flood escape plan ready and make sure to have suitable carriers for small animals as well as collars, leads and carriers for cats and dogs if the need to evacuate arises.