Petersfield and East Hampshire escapes major storm damage
No major problems were reported in Petersfield or East Hampshire this morning after storm St Jude swept across the district during the early hours of Monday morning.
However, motorists and commuters were being warned to make their journey only if it was absolutely necessary, with many roads partially blocked by fallen trees and other debris and train services were suspended until late Monday morning.
A gust of 99mph was recorded at The Needles on the Isle of Wight during the early hours as strong winds and heavy rain swept across the south.
At around 5am the A3 between the Buriton and Winchester junctions on the Petersfield bypass was partially blocked by a fallen tree, as was the A272 at Langrish and Privett during different periods of the morning.
A tree was also partially blocking the A32 near West Meon village and the traffic lights at the West Meon hut, the crossroads between the A32 and A272, were not working and the petrol station was closed due to a power cut.
Many minor roads across East Hampshire were blocked by trees and branches and motorists were urged to take care if they ventured out.
The Midhurst road in Liphook was blocked just before Hollycombe, as was Hammer Road in Haslemere and there was a tree blocking the road just south of Alton College’s main entrance.
College visitors were being asked to use the rear car park.
There continue to be major problems on the railways with South West Trains not expecting to run any services between Petersfield and London Waterloo until after 11am.
Petersfield railway station was deserted this morning during the rush hour, when it would normally be busy with commuters heading to London.
A spokesman for South West Trains said: “We have found in excess of 30 trees blocking lines across our network.
“We are now in a position to arrange a phased reintroduction of the train service to parts of our network that have been confirmed as clear of obstructions.
“There will still be many alterations and cancellations to services on routes that are still blocked. Please continue to check the website for further details.
“We will be operating a significantly reduced timetable today. We have been running test trains this morning across our network and many have encountered fallen trees and debris on the line.
“The high winds mean that we can only run trains at a maximum speed of 50mph, this is a safety measure in case of obstructions on the tracks.
“This will result in significant delays to journeys and in some cases these may take up to twice the normal time. On some routes where debris or trees are found to be blocking the line there may be no service until much later in the morning.”
If you have any storm-related pictures or news please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or ring the newsdesk on 01730 232614.
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Weather for Petersfield
Friday 13 December 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 9 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: South west