Devon County Council is advising people to take extra care when travelling tomorrow with Storm Eunice expected to hit the region in the early hours.
The south west is expected to be battered by gale force winds from midnight to mid-morning.
Red weather warnings are rarely issued by the Met Office, with the last one coinciding with Storm Arwen in November 2021, but you’d have to go back to March 2018 for the last red warning for wind before that.
Met Office Chief Meteorologist Frank Saunders said: “After the impacts from Storm Dudley for many on Wednesday, Storm Eunice will bring damaging gusts in what could be one of the most impactful storms to affect southern and central parts of the UK for a few years.”
“The red warning area indicates a significant danger to life as extremely strong winds provide the potential for damage to structures and flying debris. Although the most exposed coastal areas in the south and west could see gusts in excess of 90mph, winds will remain notably strong further inland, with gusts of between 70-80mph for most within the amber warning area.”
Devon County Council is warning that this could cause travel disruption on the county’s roads. There is the possibility of flying debris, fallen trees, damage to buildings and homes, roofs blown off and power lines brought down.
The high winds might result in Taw Bridge, Barnstaple, being temporarily closed - so please check before you travel. If you do travel during a bridge closure please plan your journey, find an safer alternative route and leave extra time.
For more updates on this follow Twitter @DevonAlert.
Damage to temporary outdoor structures, such as tents, is also possible and the longer journey times should be expected and road, rail, air, and ferry services may be affected.
There is a small chance of interruptions to power supplies the Met Office has added.
Devon County Council will have extra highways teams on stand-by. Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “Storm Eunice will make travelling conditions difficult for much of Friday morning so please take extra care when travelling.
'The forecast of such strong winds could lead to fallen trees or branches, and other debris could make surfaces slippery or possibly block drains. If possible, postpone your journey until conditions improve and if you do have to travel, slow down, allow extra time for your journey and drive according to the conditions. Keep an eye on travel updates and weather forecasts and please plan your journey.”
Devon County Council is reminding people of the following advice:
• Avoid overnight travel unless absolutely essential as roads will always be more hazardous at night with poorer visibility
• Be alert to fallen trees and branches, particularly on minor roads where they may not have been reported
• Consider if your journey is essential and be alert to weather warnings
• Never drive through floodwater or swollen flowing water, you don’t know how deep it is. Find an alternative route
• Allow additional time for your journey
• Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front and leave plenty of room if you’re overtaking
• Drive with care and according to the conditions.
For more information and winter travel advice visit the County Council’s winter travel webpages or for updates on Twitter follow @DevonAlert