Stormy weather brings Christmas chaos

TORRENTIAL rain and high winds across the county are causing havoc for motorists travelling over the Christmas break.

Fallen trees and flooding led to roads being closed in Tisbury, Lopcombe Corner, Barford St Martin and Great Durnford.

Sections of the A303 were blocked yesterday and this morning, causing huge delays.

The emergency services worked hard to help motorists and householders affected by the gales. Area manager for Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, Julia Parsons said: “We started receiving calls at around 11.30am on Monday morning. Mainly these were fallen trees and damaged property.” “Our crews have worked incredibly hard in really difficult conditions and have been successful either preventing or mitigating the damage to numerous properties.”

Away from the roads, public transport has also been affected by the weather with serious delays.

People using trains over the next few days are being urged to check timings before they travel.

“The past 24 hours have been very difficult for our customers and we are sorry they have faced significant disruption,” a spokesman for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance said on Tuesday. “We are confident that we will be able to get all of our passengers where they want to be on our network so they can spend Christmas with family and friends." Thousands of homes across the south also lost their electricity supply with power company SSE’s engineers working around the clock to restore the service.

Teams from Wiltshire Council are also out in force, dealing with flooding and clearing trees from roads. They are advising people who see a blocked road to report the obstruction .

John Thomson, cabinet member for highways, said: “Our teams are working closely with partner organisations to keep the highways clear during this bad weather. The hard work will continue as we strive to make sure our roads and footways stay as clear as possible during the winter months.”

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