Hurricane Gonzalo: Firefighters warn drivers


As the remains of Hurricane Gonzalo continues to create wet and windy conditions in the city, drivers are being warned to take extra care on the roads.

Yesterday, the Met Office issued a severe weather warning for today with more heavy wind and rain forecast from 2pm onwards.

Bucks Fire and Rescue Service say to watch out for fallen trees and other debris on wet or flooded roads.

Winds of up to 26mph are predicted by weather experts as the remains of the hurricane head east across the Atlantic.

Keith Wheeler, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s road safety manager, said: “Check local traffic reports to see if the route is clear before you make your journey, and avoid travelling during the worst of the weather if you can.

“Take great care when driving while it’s still dark in areas that you know have flooded or been affected by severe weather on previous occasions, and please don’t ignore diversion and road closure signs.”

> Driving tips during the wet and windy weather are:

You must use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced. Rain and spray from vehicles make it more difficult to see and be seen.

Keep well back from the vehicle in front. This will increase your ability to see and plan ahead.

Stopping distances on wet roads will be at least double those on dry roads because your tyres have less grip on the road.

Steering becomes unresponsive when water prevents tyres from gripping the road. If this happens, ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually.

Take extra care around pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse-riders.

Don’t attempt to drive through water that is more than a few inches deep. The water is often deeper than it looks and may be moving quite fast. Your vehicle may be swept away or become stranded.

Be alert to the danger posed by debris, including branches and slates, that may have blown into the roadway.

Remember, wind rarely blows steadily, and a sudden gust can catch out even the most experienced driver.

High-sided vehicles are most affected by windy weather, but strong gusts can also blow a car, cyclist, motorcyclist or horse-rider off course. This can happen on open stretches of road exposed to strong crosswinds, or when passing bridges or gaps in hedges.

In very windy weather your vehicle may be affected by turbulence created by large vehicles. Motorcyclists are particularly affected, so keep well back from them when they are overtaking a high-sided vehicle.