Live updates

Storm-hit restaurant back in business

The owner of a restaurant badly damaged in the worst storm of the winter says he hopes new windows he's installed will help protect the building in the future. The Marine at Milford-on-Sea in Hampshire was flooded and had dozens of windows smashed on Valentine's Night in February.

ITV Meridian spoke to owner Richard Thompson.

Seafront restaurant back in business after storm damage

A seafront restaurant badly damaged in the St Valentine's night storm earlier this year is back in business. The Marine at Milford-on-Sea was flooded and had many of its windows smashed by high winds and heavy seas.

At one stage the owner wondered if it would ever open again. Richard Jones reports.


Rail repairs after landslip will cost £5m

The landslip at Botley in Hampshire Credit: Meridian

Work to fully repair the biggest ever landslip in Britain, caused by the recent storms, will cost a total of £5 million. The train line at Botley in Hampshire reopened at the weekend.

Eighty metres of embankment collapsed causing a month of disruption for commuters in Winchester, Basingstoke, Farnborough and Basingstoke.

Verdict of death by misadventure for teen killed by tree

An inquest into the death of a Kent schoolgirl, who was killed when a tree fell onto the caravan she was sleeping in, has recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.

Bethany Freeman, who was 17-years-old, died when a 30ft tree fell on the mobile home last October in Hever.

Bethany was pronounced dead at the scene following efforts to try and revive her.

Coroner Roger Hatch expressed his sympathy to the family, saying Bethany's death happened during extremely high winds which adversely affected the tree which "unfortunately and tragically landed on the caravan."

Inquest into the death of teenager Bethany Freeman

An inquest into the death of a 17-year-old girl, who was killed when a tree fell onto the caravan she was sleeping in, is due to open today.

Bethany Freeman died when a 30ft tree fell on the mobile home last October in Edenbridge during the storms.

Neighbours tried to free her but she was sadly declared dead at the scene.

Bethany and her family had been living in the mobile home while renovation work was taking place at their home nearby, according to local people.

Bethany Freeman was killed when a 30ft tree fell on the caravan she was sleeping in Credit: ITV Meridian


Cruise ship passenger killed during storm in Channel

The wave battered the British cruise ship Marco Polo, operated by Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) as it headed for its home port of Tilbury in Essex at the end of a 42-night voyage.

Water crashed through a window injuring a number of the 735 passengers, who were mainly British. An 85-year-old male passenger and a woman passenger in her 70s were airlifted off the ship. The male passenger later died.

A number of other passengers received minor injuries and were treated on board. The vessel, which has been to the Amazon in South America and to the West Indies, is due to dock at Tilbury in the early hours of Sunday.

CMV regrets to advise that earlier today their cruise ship m/s Marco Polo, en-route to her home port of Tilbury from the Azores, was hit by a freak wave during adverse sea conditions in the south western approaches of the English Channel.

– Cruise & Maritime Voyages

Severe weather warning for Kent and Sussex

Southeastern and Network Rail are advising passengers of possible disruption to services on Friday 31 January due to a severe weather forecast.

The weather forecast for Friday evening and overnight into Saturday is for strong winds and heavy rain, bringing the possibility of falling trees and damaged infrastructure on the Kent and East Sussex route.

Network Rail has put in place speed restrictions on part of the network from 8pm on Friday.

With the severe weather forecast, safety is our absolute priority. Network Rail has advised us that because of the risk of trees on the lines, flooding and more landslips, trains will need to run at a reduced speed on Friday night. We’ll be making every effort to provide the best possible service, however it is likely that services will be disrupted. We’re advising customers to check before they travel and plan ahead to avoid possible delays.”

– Michelle Ulyatt, Southeastern

Safety is always our priority and we apologise to passengers whose journeys will be disrupted as a result of this decision. After the wettest January in 100 years, the land around the railway is completely saturated and there is more heavy rain forecast, along with high winds. This means that there is a heightened risk of trees and other debris falling on the line and we have to be prepared for that."

– Fiona Taylor, Network Rail,

Hundreds of homes without power after storms

Hundreds of homes across the South are still without power following last night's storms. Southern Electric Power Distribution engineers have been working late into the night and since the early hours to repair damage to the electricity network.

Hundreds of homes are without power following high winds Credit: ITV Meridian

The stronger than predicted winds yesterday affected the power to around 10,000 properties. Engineers made significant progress yesterday and there are now around 2,800 customers currently affected. Work is continuing today and engineers are aiming to restore the remaining supplies this afternoon.

The breakdown of customers still without supply are as follows: Aldershot 248 Basingstoke 684 Petersfield 1072 Reading 720 New Forest 100 Oxford 75 Slough 27

Extra engineers and support staff have been mobilised in order to be able to repair any damage as quickly as possible and welfare vans have been sent out to the Petersfield area. We have also increased call handlers in our emergency centre in Portsmouth.

Safety around the electricity network is crucial at this time and anyone who finds any damage to the network should remain at a safe distance and call our emergency number on 0800 072 7282.

Load more updates