Dorset Council are advising all schools to close tomorrow.

The amber weather warning has been escalated to a red warning for the South West, where national advice is for all persons to stay at home in affected areas. Dorset school transport for both Home to School and SEND will not be operating tomorrow.

This decision has been made in the interests of protecting the safety of your children and staff.

Please will families encourage children to get all their homework done tomorrow and you will also find isolation learning on SIMS if you wish.

A rare red weather warning has been issued for Storm Eunice as it looks set to batter the UK with gusts of up to 100mph.

The warning has been issued from 7am to 12pm on Friday for along the coastline of Devon and Cornwall as well as the south coast of Wales as extremely strong winds are predicted.
It warns of “flying debris resulting in danger to life” and “damage to buildings and homes, with roofs blown off and power lines brought down.”

The highest level of alert for southwest England comes after the Met Office upgraded its “danger to life” amber alert covering almost the whole of England – warning of more outages, flooding and travel chaos on the roads and train lines.
A “stay indoors” alert was already in place as Storm Eunice approaches, with stronger winds than Storm Dudley, heavy snow and blizzard conditions in places.

No rail services in Wales tomorrow
All trains in Wales will be cancelled as a result on Friday as Storm Eunice hits the UK.
A Network Rail spokeswoman told Sky News the move would come into force from “the close of traffic” tonight.
Train services will be suspended for the whole day, with disruption likely to continue into the weekend, so that more than 1,000 miles of track can be checked and cleared of debris and fallen trees.

Emergency COBRA meeting taking place
Forecasters have warned Eunice will be more damaging than Dudley, which left tens of thousands of homes without power, downed trees, disrupted travel services and caused flooding in areas.
The Met Office said a red warning means “dangerous weather is expected” with it “very likely that there will be a risk to life, with substantial disruption to travel, energy supplies and possibly widespread damage to property and infrastructure”.
People are also advised to avoid travelling where possible with Storm Eunice predicted to cause significant disruption and dangerous conditions.
A COBRA emergency meeting – spearheaded by Cabinet Office Minister Michael Ellis – will meet on Thursday “to discuss the response to Storm Dudley and Storm Eunice”, the government said.

Yellow wind and snow warnings in place too
Storm Eunice will move in on Friday, bringing potentially damaging winds to the south and snow to the north.
The Met Office has issued yellow and amber warnings for wind and snow through to Friday evening.
An amber wind warning covers Wales and central and southern England, where gusts will widely reach 60-70mph on Friday, with up to 100mph possible in some spots.
A yellow wind and snow warning covers northern parts of the UK.

Storm Dudley outages, travel chaos and damage
On Wednesday, Storm Dudley winds hit 81mph in Capel Curig in North Wales, while Emley Moore in West Yorkshire recorded 74mph.
Tens of thousands of households suffered power outages during the storm.
Northern Powergrid, which maintains electricity networks across northern England, said about 19,000 homes and businesses were impacted and it was working to reconnect 1,000 properties which still had no lights on Thursday morning due to the weather.
A parked car in Salford was crushed after strong winds blew bricks off the side of a house on to it.
No one was in the vehicle at the time but police and fire crews were called to the scene.
In Cardiff, a train named after NHS fundraiser Captain Tom Moore hit a trampoline blown on to the track.
Coastal areas such as Blackpool also saw choppy seas and large waves, with authorities warning people not to take risks to get a dramatic selfie.

How often are red warnings issued?
Red warnings are issued rarely: the last one was in November 2021 ahead of the arrival of Storm Arwen, which saw very strong winds batter areas on the east coast of Scotland and northeast coast of England.
Before then – several were issued across the UK in late February and early March 2018 during the so-called “Beast from the East”. The winter storm brought widespread heavy snow and freezing temperatures.

Call for emergency support plan
Ministers have been urged to ensure the COBRA meeting results in an emergency support plan to deal with power cuts.
Liberal Democrat communities spokesman, Tim Farron, said: “Whenever a storm hits, the government is disgracefully unprepared to support the thousands of people affected, they never learn from their mistakes.
“This time, as people up and down the country are barraged by stormy weather, the government must be on hand to provide support.
“The COBRA meeting must agree on an emergency support plan including providing food, emergency accommodation and electricity generators for those affected by any power cuts.”


The council has made the difficult decision to advise all schools to close and has suspended many services for Friday as 100mph winds of Storm Eunice are predicted to hit the county.

The Met Office has categorised the impact of the wind in the storm as the severe amber warning which means there could be a danger to life and structural damage to property.

The council has taken the decision to put threat to life above some continuation of services and there will be disruption to residents.

All schools have been advised to close to staff and students.

Services which have been suspended include, and are not limited to, –

  • Council transport, including school and social care
  • Closure of day centres
  • Closure of all household recycling centres (HRCs, or “the tip”)
  • Suspension of bin collections. Do not put your bins out for collection on Friday 18 February. We will attempt to collect rubbish on Saturday 19 February. Food waste will be emptied on your next collection day (Friday 25 February). We hope to collect missed recycling on Saturday 26 February. Garden and commercial waste customers will be contacted separately.
  • Libraries and council owned buildings will be closed to the public
  • Roads could be closed at short notice
  • Durlston Country Park is closed and scheduled performances cancelled

Any further service disruption due to the storm, which is scheduled to hit the Dorset Council area from 3am until 9am, will be posted here

Cllr Graham Carr Jones, Portfolio Holder for Housing, Community Safety and Emergency Planning, said:

“The decision to suspend services has not been taken lightly and the priority is to prevent injury and loss of life.

“The council has taken heed of the warnings from the Met Office, and due to their predictions of extremely strong wind, we have taken the precautionary decisions to suspend services and advise all schools close and children stay at home.

“We have plans in place for scenarios such as this and we feel well prepared. Highways and arboricultural teams will be on stand-by throughout the weekend to deal with highways issues, fallen trees and debris on the roads.”

“Residents need to take precautions to make sure they safe and well until the storm passes.”

Residents are being advised to only travel if absolutely necessary and take measures to stay safe and should not go to watch the sea in coastal or clifftop locations. There are specific flood warnings from the Environment Agency issued for Lyme Regis, West Bay, Chiswell and Ferrybridge, Preston Beach Road and Swanage Bay in terms of tidal surge flooding.

Emergency procedures are being put in place to keep homeless and rough sleepers safe, to make welfare checks to the vulnerable and for home care providers.

The Met office said disruption from “extremely strong” winds in Storm Eunice is scheduled between 3am and 9pm on Friday 18 February which may cause significant disruption including flying debris which could result in danger to life, falling branches and trees, damage to buildings and roofs, power lines brought down, road closures, disruption and cancellations to train, bus, ferry and planes in addition to beach material thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties.

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