Fire Service warning ahead of Storm Eunice
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is warning Essex residents to be prepared for strong winds and gales that look set to be sweeping the county over the next few days.
The worst of Storm Eunice looks set to arrive during daylight hours tomorrow (Friday) with winds of 60 to 70mph expected, possibly reaching 80mph. This could cause trees to uproot and flying debris to affect transport and travel.
Flooding could also be possible in coastal areas of Essex.
The Service is advising residents to only travel if absolutely necessary, ensure property and garden furniture is well secured and check in on any vulnerable neighbours and family members to make sure they are safe.
Neil Fenwick, Area Manager for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Please only travel if it is really necessary and if you do have to go out, please take precautions. Also check in on people nearby if you think they need support.
“Call us on 999 if there is a risk to life or property but help us to get to the people most in need by contacting the right agencies.”
During times like this, ECFRS’s priorities are continuing to respond to incidents and, wherever possible, supporting partners.
ECFRS takes steps to make sure it can maintain a consistent operational response, including using Ranger off road vehicles where needed, which are designed to overcome adverse conditions.
Current reports predict the worst of Storm Eunice will be daylight hours on Friday but gusty conditions will remain across the weekend.
With ECFRS’s control room often inundated with 999 calls during times of high winds and flooding, Neil adds: “We really appreciate people thinking twice before putting themselves in risky situations that could end in a 999 call.
“When roads are affected by debris or flooded, please be sensible and only call 999 in an emergency or if there's a risk to life - the fire service doesn't recover cars from flood water. Remember, if you come across a closed or flooded road, please don't try to drive through it - it's really dangerous and could damage your car too - just find another route.”
Advice to follow:
- Check your car regularly to make sure it’s safe to drive - this includes tyres, oil levels and water
- Always prepare for your journey by checking weather updates and road closures before leaving
- Never drive while under the influence of drink or drugs or while using a mobile phone
- Always wear a seatbelt
- Take it slower on the roads in wet, windy and icy weather and leave a larger braking distance between cars
- Never drive into flood water
- Download the what3words app to help you find, share and save your precise location if you need help from the emergency services while you're out. Download what3words
- Remember, only call 999 if there is a risk to life.
- Ensure your property and garden furniture is well secured
- If you find a fallen tree or other debris blocking roads, contact Essex Highways