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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 January 2008, 19:24 GMT
Snow alert after gale force winds
Storm wave at Dover harbour
Storm force winds and waves battered the South East coast
Gale force winds have battered the South East causing disruption across the region and further warnings have accompanied forecasts of snow.

On Thursday, winds of nearly 80mph (130km/h) caused Dover port to close and Operation Stack to be brought in on the M20 for queuing lorries.

Roads were closed in both Kent and Sussex after vehicles overturned.

In Surrey, a tree fell on to a railway line disrupting services to and from London Waterloo.

'Hurricane-strength gusts'

Kent Police has warned people to be prepared for continuing bad weather, with snow forecast for Friday.

Dover coastguard said the port reopened on Thursday afternoon, but passengers were warned of continuing delays.

On the coastbound M20 in Kent, phase one of Operation Stack was brought in on Thursday morning, with junctions 11 and 12 closed, and non-freight traffic diverted on to the A20.

Lorries queuing under Operation Stack
Coastbound lorries parked on the M20 under Operation Stack

A police spokesman said: "Anyone planning to cross to the continent is advised to check with operators before setting out to travel."

"Kent Police is also advising people to be prepared for the bad weather conditions forecast for the next few days."

He said reports suggested bad weather would continue throughout the weekend, with 2-5cm of snow forecast in the south.

Earlier, Dover coastguard said: "There were recorded gusts of 69 knots, force 12, which is hurricane strength, in the harbour.

"The port reopened at 1500 GMT and the winds have quite dramatically dropped."

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Winds were strong enough to overturn vehicles



SEE ALSO
Ferries resume after bad weather
16 Jan 08 |  England
Gusts and rain batter South East
15 Jan 08 |  England

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