County’s emergency services prepare for storm’s arrival

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Emergency services in Lincolnshire are preparing to “protect life and property” as severe weather is predicted to hit the UK in the early hours of Monday morning.

The multi-agency Lincolnshire Resilience Forum (LRF) will be opening its major incident room on Sunday evening in anticipation of serious damage which may be caused by the strongest winds to be forecast since the 1987 hurricane.

Head of specialist operations for Lincolnshire Police Superintendent Shaun West said LRF plans carefully for storms such as the one anticipated overnight Sunday into Monday and are now working together to put those into action.

The Met Office has issued warnings of heavy rain and very strong winds - up to 80 mph is forecast - from the early hours of Monday morning until early afternoon on Monday.

Even stronger winds may hit the Lincolnshire Wolds, which is high ground.

Supt West said: “In the context of public safety this is of great concern and that is why we are mobilising representatives of all the emergency services overnight Sunday so that we are in a position to deal with matters and protect as far as we can, life and property.

“If this severe weather hits as predicted there will also be a great responsibility on everyone to protect themselves and each other.”

LRF is urging everyone to ensure people and pets are safely indoors and that potential hazards, which may blow around and cause futher damage or injury, are secured.

Strong winds can be extremely dangerous and cause significant damage to property, disrupt transport, power supplies, telecommunications and other important services.

Advice on staying safe has been issued. It includes:

* Consider the impact of the weather on travel - you may face significant disruption if you are attempting to get to work on Monday morning or attempting to get your children to school. Schools may even need to remain closed on Monday - people should keep listening to local radio for the latest updates.

* If the weather deteriorates as predicted over Sunday night, roads may become blocked by fallen branches and trees and consequently become severely congested - listen to local radio which will keep you up to date wth the latest roads information.

* The wind may be severe enough to blow over high-sided vehicles and caravans and blow off-course, motor cycles, pedal cycles - simply make a judgement not to venture out if the weather is severe.

* As well as going to work, safety at work will be an issue if you are having to work outside - is that work really necessary?

* Be aware of the danger of falling masonry; falling trees or branches; potentially unsafe walls and buildings; fallen power lines - they can get blown about and if they are live they could be lethal.

* The emphasis at this stage is on strong winds and rain and any suggestion of flooding is premature. However, check media to keep up to date with the latest information.