AA warning of possible extensive travel disruption
With the Met Office warning of the most powerful storm in years that could hit the southern half of the UK on Sunday night and into Monday, the AA is warning of possible extensive travel disruption.
Darron Burness, head of the AA's flood rescue team, says: "If the predicted storm strikes, the timing couldn't really be worse, potentially causing significant travel disruption on Monday morning, which is one of the busiest times on the roads.
"Strong wind and torrential rain is an unpredictable and hazardous combination, which can be quite overwhelming when you're driving.
At a minimum, take a fully-charged mobile phone and warm, weatherproof clothing
Darron Burness, AA head of special operations
"There's likely to be tree and other debris on the roads as well potential flooding, so it's very important to keep your speed down and drive with great care, particularly on country roads early on Monday morning when it's still dark.
"Trees can partially fall too and hang above the road, sometimes above the sweep of the headlights, making them very difficult to spot.
Don't gamble driving down flooded roads and think twice before crossing a ford. If you're using a sat-nav, be sensible and try to stick to the main routes where possible.
"If it's bad where you are, keep tuned to the weather and traffic reports – in case of road or bridge closures – and heed any local police advice about whether it's safe to travel.
"At a minimum, take a fully-charged mobile phone and warm, weatherproof clothing."
Edmund King, AA president, warns: "The situation on the roads will probably be made worse by excessive surface water, which is exacerbated by leaves blocking drains at this time of year. In some areas there are known stretches of roads or underpasses which always flood. We have called upon the highway authorities to address these problem areas through re-engineering these stretches of road rather than waiting until standing water causes chaos."
The AA's specialist flood rescue team, AA Special Operations, has been working all week and is geared up for a potentially very busy period. Its crews receive flood rescue and 4x4 training and drive modified Land Rovers. Follow them on Twitter for regular updates: @AASORT
(25 October 2013)