HEAVY rain has now reached all of Essex and is set to continue for several hours.

Winds will strengthen after midnight.

Flooding and winds of 80mph could hit the region over the next few hours.

Emergency services are on standby in Essex and public transport chiefs have made changes to rail timetables to make allowances for predicted disruption.

Insurance companies have advised households to take steps to protect themselves and their property.

People should also establish evacuation plans, place valuable items upstairs to limit flood damage and ensure gutters are clear so water can drain away.

The storm has been named St Jude after the patron saint of lost causes, whose feast day is tomorrow.

The latest from the Met Office: A very intense low pressure system is forecast to run northeastwards across England and Wales early on Monday, bringing the potential for an exceptionally windy spell for southern parts of the UK.

At the same time, persistent, heavy rain could cause some surface water flooding, while the winds will lead to some very large waves around our coasts. There remains slight uncertainty in the timing, intensity and track of the low as well as the northern limit of the strongest winds.

However, the public should be prepared for the risk of falling trees as well as damage to buildings and other structures, bringing disruption to transport and power supplies. The public should also consider adjusting travel plans. This warning has been updated to bring forward the end time.

The public are advised to monitor the website for possible further updates.
The public is advised to take extra care.


This is the latest satellite image showing the storm heading to the UK

Halstead Gazette:


c2c has issued the following statement: Based on advice received by Network Rail regarding the strong storm expected overnight, c2c services will be suspended until at least 9am tomorrow. We therefore advise customers not to attempt to travel.

Once the storm has passed, we will be helping Network Rail to check the lines are clear and that no damage has been caused to the overhead wires that supply power.

We will then do our best to resume services as soon as possible, but this may be late morning at the earliest.

When we are able to resume train services, they may still be subject to disruption, short notice alteration and running at reduced speed.

Tickets purchased for travel tomorrow will be valid for travel on Tuesday.

Greater Anglia is cancelling rush-hour services tomorrow.

A spokeswoman said: “These plans are based on advise that high winds of up to 75mph are forecast across our region early on Monday morning. This presents a significant risk of falling trees/branches, damage to railway equipment and will severely limit our ability to safely and quickly respond to any incidents which may occur.

“We will be working with Network Rail throughout the night to ensure that the railway is open as soon as possible on Monday morning and that additional staff are deployed across the route.

“As soon as we are able we will run checks across all routes in order to ensure that services can run safely before we run any passenger services.”

A tree lining the A127 has been blown down, blocking the Dunton exit. Reader Joy Watkin sent us this picture 

Halstead Gazette:

Police are on the scene of the London-bound carriageway clearing the area.

Motorists are being asked to find alternative routes.

The tree was blown over shortly before 3.30pm as strong winds gain pace ahead of the predicted storm tonight.