Storm Aileen set to bring strong winds to Staffordshire and Cheshire

Emergency services and councils in Staffordshire and Cheshire are warning residents to prepare for Storm Aileen.

Winds of up to 75mph are forecast to batter the two counties over the next 24 hours.

The Met Office say the peak of the storm is due to hit in the early hours of Wednesday (13 September).

Drivers are being advised to take extra care if out on the roads, as fallen trees or branches may have fallen ad could be blocking their path.

Inspector Richard Rees from Cheshire Police said “Thankfully the worst of Storm Aileen is set to hit Cheshire during the early hours of Wednesday morning, which should minimise the impact of the disruption.

“However, with winds expected to reach 75mph, fallen trees and power lines are likely, which may result in road closures. Therefore I would advise all motorists to allow extra time for their journey on Wednesday morning and take extra care while travelling.”

Director of Response at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue, Tim Hyde, said: “The weather warnings have been issued for very strong winds Tuesday overnight into Wednesday and are likely to cause travel disruption during Wednesday morning’s rush hour.

“There will be a higher risk of debris on the roads, such as fallen tree branches and we are often called to more collisions during stormy weather. High-sided vehicles should take extra care, especially on exposed roads such as those on higher ground in the Staffordshire Moorlands. 

“I would urge drivers to be vigilant when driving in stormy weather and allow extra time for your journey. It is important to take into account the extra braking distance needed on wet road surfaces and make sure your vehicle is in a road worthy condition. 

“These are simple safety tips but they could have the potential to save lives.”

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet support member for highways and transport Helen Fisher said: “High winds have been forecast across the county overnight and so we’re reminding people to take extra care if they’re out on the roads.

"There is the potential for branches to be down and other debris blown into the road causing an obstruction.

"The wind may be particularly severe in the north of the county and rain may also bring surface water issues. Our highways teams will be ready to respond to any issues throughout the night.”

Richard Leonard, Head of Road User Safety at Highways England, said: “We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys, with strong winds and heavy rain expected from Tuesday evening until Wednesday morning.

“In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down and avoid using exposed sections of road if possible.”

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