DERBYSHIRE: Monster storm set to batter county

editorial image

Derbyshire is on high alert for the most powerful storm in decades.

Torrential rain and hurricane-force gusts of up to 80mph are set to strike through late Sunday and into Monday as the destructive St Jude storm batters the country.

Trees are likely to be uprooted, buildings could suffer structural damage, drivers look set to face travel chaos and power failures are a possibility.

The Met Office is warning people in Derbyshire to be extra vigilant.

A spokesman said: “A very intense low pressure system is forecast, bringing the potential for an exceptionally windy spell.

“There is the potential for gusts of up to 80mph.

“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.

“Up to 40mm of rain may fall within six to nine hours, leading to localised flooding, especially where drainage is impeded by wind-blown debris.

“The public is advised to take extra care.”

The AA urged motorists to drive with “extreme caution”.

Darron Burness, head of the flood rescue team, said: “If the predicted storm strikes, the timing couldn’t really be worse, potentially causing significant travel disruption on Monday morning, which is one of the busiest times on the roads.

“Strong wind and torrential rain is an unpredictable and hazardous combination, which can be quite overwhelming when you’re driving.

“There’s likely to be tree and other debris on the roads as well potential flooding, so it’s very important to keep your speed down and drive with great care, particularly on country roads early on Monday morning when it’s still dark.”

Martin Hobbs, of the Highways Agency, added: “Drivers, especially those considering a trip with a caravan, are encouraged to think carefully before setting off as driving conditions are expected to be difficult.

“Be aware of sudden gusts of wind and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space. Please be alert for warnings of road closures and follow signposted diversion routes.”

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “Teams are out working to minimise river flood risk, clearing debris from streams and unblocking culverts and will continue to closely monitor the situation. We are supporting local authorities who will respond to any reports of surface water flooding.”

The storm is named after the patron saint of depression and lost causes whose feast day falls on Monday.

It could be the most devastating blow since the Great Storm of 1987.

If you get any pictures or video of the storm, email