England

Stormy weather: Travel disruption across South East

Lorries at Dover after Operation Stack Image copyright PA
Image caption Disruption to ferry services at Dover caused a build-up of freight traffic at the port

Strong winds and heavy rain have been battering the south east of England, causing widespread travel disruption.

Operation Stack was put in place on the M20 with a backlog of lorries heading to Dover, where cross-channel ferries were being disrupted.

The A249 Sheppey crossing in Kent was closed because of high winds but has since reopened.

Fallen trees have blocked a number of rail lines and there are several flood warnings in place.

The Environment Agency has issued nine flood warnings for Sussex and Kent.

The agency said the greatest threats to flooding in Yalding, Little Venice and the River Medway between Yalding and Maidstone would be at about midnight.

The agency said the overnight rain would cause river levels to rise throughout the day.

The other flood warnings in Kent put the greatest risk at about 12:00 GMT.

In Surrey, there are flood alerts for the Tillingbourne, Hoe Stream, Ifield Brook, Upper River Mole, Loxwood Stream, the River Blackwater, Chertsey Bourne, Upper River Wey and Cranleigh Waters.

Motorists across the South East have been been urged to take care.

Operation Stack

The Port of Dover said cross-channel sailings were being disrupted because of the weather conditions.

DFDS Seaways and MyFerryLink are reporting delays to their services with updates on Twitter.

They said: "Our services have now returned to schedule, however with impending adverse weather delays can be expected."

Image caption Ferry services have been disrupted because of high winds

Phase two of Operation Stack was put in place at 22:00 GMT on Wednesday on the M20 southbound with non-freight traffic diverted off the motorway at junction eight.

It was lifted at 11:25 on Thursday, a Kent Police spokeswoman said.

In Surrey, the A287 has been blocked by a fallen tree at Green Lane in Churt.

The A21 in East Sussex was closed in Sedlescombe between the A28 and A2100 north of Battle because of flooding, but has since re-opened.

Rail delays

Southeastern trains said some services had been disrupted because of a number of trees on the line.

A spokesman for the rail company said: "These have now been removed and all our routes our now open."

Kent County Council said additional resources had been put on standby to deal with any flooding and fallen trees.

Southern said there were alterations to services on the Redhill to Tonbridge line due flooding.

Services between Oxted and Uckfield have resumed after being suspended earlier because of a tree on the line.

Sussex Police said it had received more than 20 reports of a fallen trees and street furniture obstructing roads, mainly in rural areas.

South West Trains' services between Bournemouth and London Waterloo through the county have been disrupted after flooding at Hinton Admiral.

About 200 homes were without electricity after storms brought down powers lines on the Surrey/Hampshire border.

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