Page last updated at 16:38 GMT, Saturday, 14 November 2009

Flooding alerts follow downpours

Dover
Rough seas and strong winds closed the Port of Dover

Fire crews have tackled floods, reports of lightning strikes and tiles torn from roofs in Sussex during heavy rain and strong winds.

The Environment Agency warned of a risk of sea flooding to Sussex after forecasters predicted the worst storm of the year so far this weekend.

Cross-Channel ferries were disrupted with the Port of Dover closed during rough seas and wind gusts.

A West Sussex firefighter said: "There has been a hell of a lot of water."

On Saturday, West Sussex fire crews said they dealt with two reported lightning strikes in Horsham and Crawley.

No damage was caused in Horsham, but in Crawley lightning struck a shed and damaged an electrical circuit.

Port closed

East Sussex fire crews said they had received several calls reporting tiles torn from properties and For Sale signs blowing loose during coastal gusts in Bexhill and Brighton.

Roof sheeting came away at Hove railway station.

In Kent, firefighters took down a sign at a kebab shop in New Road, Gravesend, which was left hanging dangerously after being dislodged in heavy winds.

Dover Harbour Board closed the Port of Dover at about midday because of strong winds and rough seas. It reopened at 1625 GMT.

Passengers were advised to travel to the port but to expect delays.

BBC travel reports said ferries run by P&O, SeaFrance and LD Lines were all subject to delays because of the adverse weather conditions.

Flooding brought lane closures on the M25 at Leatherhead in Surrey, earlier on Saturday, but the motorway reopened later.

Power lines

After heavy rain on Friday afternoon, firefighters pumped water out of businesses on an industrial estate in Haywards Heath after it was hit by flash flooding.

Water came pouring down Burrell Road, and a boat was scrambled in case anyone needed to be rescued.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service dealt with nearly 40 weather-related calls in the Haywards Heath area during that time.

Most of the calls were to incidents involving flooded properties and breached culverts.

But crews were also called to an incident where a tree came down on power lines and caught fire in Copthorne Road, Crawley.



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