Busy morning for West Sussex firefighters after wind and rain

WEST Sussex firefighters have had a busy morning helping to keep residents and businesses safe during high winds and torrential rain.

In the last four hours, West Sussex Fire & Rescue’s Command and Control Centre has received in excess of 40 999 calls for weather related incidents across the county with coastal areas being particularly affected.

Crews have been called to assist with a wide variety of potentially dangerous situations including fallen trees, loose roofing, precariously hanging signs and canopies and unstable chimney stacks.

Two of the more serious calls came in Sidlesham, near Chichester, with the gable end of a semi-detached house badly damaged by a fallen electricity pylon and, in a separate incident, part of a roof blown off a converted chapel on Mill Lane. There have been no reported injuries.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service offers the following advice during high winds:

*Stay indoors as much as possible

*If you do go out keep away from the sheltered side of boundary walls and fences - if these structures fail they will collapse on that side.

*Do not go outside to repair damage during a storm, wait until it passes.

*Take extra care if driving - high winds mean increased risks, particularly if combined with heavy rain.

*Expect sudden gusts at any time, but especially on open stretches of road, when passing bridges or when overtaking high sided vehicles.