Storm Eunice: Parts of south east on Red Alert as a major incident is declared

Kent, East Sussex and Surrey are on a rare red alert weather warning issued by the Met Office. Credit: ITV News

A red weather warning has been issued for parts of the south east as the region braces itself for Storm Eunice.

The rare warning from the Met Office means a high impact is very likely in Kent, East Sussex and Surrey.

It's in place from 10am until 3pm on Friday due to fears of the storm "causing significant disruption and dangerous conditions due to extremely strong winds".

A major incident has also been declared in Hampshire on behalf of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum.

Winds of up to 90mph are expected in coastal areas, with a number of flood alerts in place.

The Environment Agency has issued a number of flood alerts in coastal areas, including for Christchurch Harbour, Poole Harbour, Bealieu, Langstone and Emsworth, South Hayling, and West Bay.

People are being urged not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

National Highways said high-sided vehicles and other "vulnerable" vehicles such as caravans and motorbikes could be blown over so should avoid bridges and viaducts.

The Itchen Bridge in Southampton has been shut to traffic from 5am on Friday due to storm warnings.

Southampton City Council said the decision will be reviewed at 1pm.

Southeastern has cancelled a number of trains and is asking people not to travel.

KRF Tactical Lead and Kent County Council (KCC) Senior Highways Manager Toby Howe said: “The latest Met Office forecast is clear that Eunice is a serious storm that is expected to bring significant disruption to Kent.

“Gusts could peak at over 80mph, making it likely to be the most powerful weather systems we have seen in the county for many years.

“Driving conditions across the county will be dangerous at times, especially for high-sided vehicles and other vulnerable vehicles like motorbikes, some bridges will shut and roads and rail lines could be blocked by fallen trees and debris and people are urged to avoid travelling if they can.

“We all need to take the Met Office warnings very seriously and I urge everyone to take sensible precautions to keep safe and not put others, including the emergency services, unnecessarily at risk.”

Delays and some cancellations on P and O Ferries, DFDS Seaways and Irish Ferries between Dover and Calais due to high winds.

Scottish and Southern Electricity has confirmed homes have been left without power in the Hightown area of Ringwood.

Homes in the Hightown area of Ringwood have been left without power

More than 140 schools are closed in Hampshire while all schools in Dorset are shut today.

School buses run by Stagecoach south have been cancelled in the Chichester area.

Some flights have been have cancelled at Gatwick and Southampton Airport, with passengers urged to check before travelling to airports.

Legoland, Windsor has confirmed it is closing on Friday.

While in Hampshire, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, including the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, and Explosion Museum in Gosport are shut on Friday.

All country parks are shut in Buckinghamshire, and that decision will be reviewed at 10am on Saturday. (19 February)