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Weather Bomb: Sheppey Crossing closed as high winds hit Kent

The Sheppey Crossing has been closed to all vehicles as high winds hit Kent.

Coastal areas will bear the brunt of the bad weather expected to lash Kent tonight, with warnings of winds that "may exceed" 70mph.

The crossing was closed at 10.45pm, with motorists advised to use the Kingsferry Bridge as an alternative.

The Sheppey Crossing
The Sheppey Crossing

A flood warning was already in place for the Isle of Sheppey and in-land areas will likely experience powerful gusts of between 50 and 60mph, according to the Met Office.

The storm is likely to hit just after midnight tonight, continuing into tomorrow morning.

A storm lashes Sandgate. Stock photo by Gillian Bond
A storm lashes Sandgate. Stock photo by Gillian Bond

Weather forecasters have warned people to prepare for downed trees, power cuts and travel disruption.

The yellow weather warning in place for southern England says "winds may briefly gust to 50 or 60 mph inland, most likely across southern England, and may exceed 70 mph in some exposed coastal districts in south and southeast England."

Dan Williams, from the Met Office, said: "The winds will track to the north of Kent but the stongest winds will be on the southern side.

"What well see is the wind will pick up for a time in the early hours of the morning and we'll there will be some heavy rain.

"The winds will be strongest on southern-facing coasts so Folkestone for example may see strong winds. The gusts won't be quite as strong inland but it will still be a very windy night."

The Environment Agency has issued a flood warning for the Isle of Sheppey, fearing that up to 25mm of rain could fall between 2am and 6am, causing rivers to break their banks. 

The Met Office has warned of heavy rain. Picture: Gary Browne
The Met Office has warned of heavy rain. Picture: Gary Browne

The Highways Agency has advised motorists take extra care tonight, and warned high bridges such as the Dartford Crossing could be restricted or closed. 

Mr Williams also warned people to take care if travelling overnight and to consider postponing their journeys to avoid the worst of the weather. 

"It's going to be pretty rough tonight especially with the rain coming in as well. Travelling conditions are going to be pretty terrible so people should consider whether they need to go out." 

The front bringing the bad weather

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