While the Met Office wind alerts associated with Storm Ciarán have now been lifted, a yellow warning for rain remains in force for Thursday.
Driving conditions will continue to be tricky and with downpours falling onto already saturated ground, the county will continue to experience localised flooding. A number of flood alerts are in place covering inland and coastal areas. A flood alert means flooding is possible so be prepared.
Gusts, rough seas, fallen trees and debris including leaves and branches will also continue to disrupt transport through Thursday including trains and cross-Channel ferries.
KRF partners including Kent County Council (KCC), Kent Police, National Highways, the Environment Agency (EA) and UK Power Networks and many others had extra staff out on the ground overnight on Wednesday working to keep residents safe as Ciarán tracked across southern England.
The KRF, a group of organisations and agencies that plan and prepare as a unit for emergencies affecting the people of Kent, continues to take guidance from the Met Office.
KRF’s Tactical Lead Toby Howe said: “In fast-moving severe weather incidents, emergency teams have a lot to contend with and we continue to urge residents to help us keep everyone safe by not taking unnecessary risks – including staying away from seafronts. It is not worth risking your life and others for that selfie.
“If you are travelling, check your route before setting off and drive to the conditions.
“With continued rain there could be flooding. It will be gusty throughout the day, so the risk of trees and branches coming down will continue to be a risk.
“We ask that residents keep up to date with the latest weather forecasts, travel information and advice.”
- KCC had crews out clearing roads of fallen trees and extra tankers deployed helping to clear excess surface water. If you must travel, check your route before setting off and keep up to date with the latest travel information by following @KCCHighways on X (formerly Twitter). Report issues on roads including fallen trees at www.kent.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/report-a-problem or in an emergency call 03000 419191.
- Environment Agency teams are working hard to keep rivers flowing and flood defences working. It is asking people to stay away from piers, promenades and swollen rivers and not drive through a flood as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to sweep your car away. Check their flood risk and sign up for free flood warnings at https://www.gov.uk/check-if-youre-at-risk-of-flooding Follow @EnvAgencySE on X for the latest flood updates.
- UK Power Networks worked through the night into Thursday to restore more than 16,500 power supplies across the South East. People are urged to stay well clear of power lines and anyone spotting a damaged power line should report it immediately on 0800 31 63 105 (24-hour phoneline). See if you are eligible and sign up for its Priority Services Register at Storm Prepare (ukpowernetworks.co.uk).
Key transport updates include:
- Ferry sailings are disrupted between Dover and Calais. Follow your operator for updates. As a result, lorries are being queued on the M20 in the Brock traffic management scheme in order to keep disruption to Kent's wider road network to a minimum. All EU-bound freight must use the M20 while other traffic must follow the signed diversions. See Kent Police for more details here: Adverse weather leads to M20 road closures | Kent Police
- Train companies including Southeastern are warning of disruption through Thursday and asking people to check before they travel.
- Some 20 schools in coastal areas closed as a result of Storm Ciarán. In severe weather, schools make their own decisions about whether to stay open and contact parents directly. You can register to receive schools reporting closures at: Kent Closures - Kent County Council
Met Office news and advice: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/
National Highways: For the latest on the motorway network, stay across its X feed - @HighwaysSEAST
Trains: There is the likelihood of cancellations and delays on Thursday, with a speed limit in operation. There will be no replacement bus services for cancelled train. Check before travel with the train company.
HM Coastguard: Advice here https://hmcoastguard.uk/coast and things to consider –
- Is it safe to go out at all? If there are weather warnings in place, it is best to stay in. Always adhere to official advice.
- Keep away from the water’s edge.
- Keep off groynes, piers, jetties and harbour walls. If you can feel the spray, you’re too close.
- Periods of intense rainfall make cliff edges more vulnerable. Stay far back from the edge and well away from the base of a cliff at all times, but particularly during or after heavy rainfall.
- Stay out of flood water. Remember that as little as 15cm (6 inches) of fast-moving floodwater can be enough to knock you off your feet.