Lincolnshire’s multi-agency Resilience Forum will be opening their major incident room on Sunday evening in anticipation of the impact and serious damage in the wake of the strongest winds to be forecast since the 1987 hurricane.
Head of Specialist Operations for Lincolnshire Police, Superintendent Shaun West says the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum (LRF) plans carefully for storms such as the one anticipated tomorrow and Monday and are now working together to put those plans into action.
The Meterological office have issued warnings of severe weather in the form of heavy rain and very strong winds – up to 80 mph is forecast – from the early hours of Monday morning until early afternoon.
Superintendent West says the Met Office is predicting even stronger winds than 80 mph over high ground including the Lincolnshire Wolds. “In the context of public safety this is of great concern and that is why we are mobilising representatives of all the emergency services tonight (Sunday) so that we are in a position to deal with matters and protect as far as we can, life and property,” he says. “If this severe weather hits as predicted there will also be a great responsibility on everyone to protect themselves and each other.”
The LRF is urging people to ensure pets and people are safely indoors with potential hazards which may blow around and cause further damage or injury, are secured.
Superintendent West says that the predicted wind speeds – which are infrequent in the United Kingdom can be extremely dangerous and cause significant damage to property, disrupt transport, power supplies, telecommunications and other important services.
If the weather is as severe as predicted, there are a number of things people will need to consider:
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 close – and people should keep listening in 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 in to local radio which will keep you up to date with the latest roads information.
The wind may be severe enough to blow over high-sided vehicles and caravans and blow off-course, motor cycles and 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’re live they could be lethal.
The emphasis at this stage is on strong winds and rain and any suggestion of flooding is premature. However, listen in to local radio to keep up to date with the latest information.
But Superintendent West says the soundest piece of advice at this early stage is: “… listen to your local radio station. They and we are there to ensure the safety of everyone so heed the advice the emergency services will be giving out through those media. We will keep everyone informed about incidents and conditions as soon as we know it,” he says.