Highways teams deal with aftermath of high winds

Published: 24 Feb 2017

Storm Doris kept Hertfordshire County Council’s highways teams busy yesterday as 60mph gusts hit the county.

Highways teams received more than 800 calls from residents, motorists and the police. Crews from our highways contractor, Ringway, dealt with more than 330 emergency callouts including fallen trees, branches and light columns.

A number of roads were closed countywide, including the A10 Kingsmead Viaduct between Hertford and Ware, which was closed on advice from the police from 4pm to 9pm due to the risk of high winds to high-sided vehicles.

The priority was to clear blocked roads and to make them safe, which means many sites may still have trees that have been cut up and left safety at the side of the road and on verges. Crews will follow this up over the coming days with vehicles being sent out to collect debris.

Terry Douris, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: "This is was an extreme and rare weather event and our highways teams have worked around the clock to keep roads moving and people safe.
“I appreciate many residents’ journeys would have been impacted yesterday evening and their understanding and patience while we worked to keep road users out of harm's way is greatly appreciated.”

Kevin Carrol, Ringway Divisional Manager, said: “I’d like to thank our colleagues working on the network and in the transport control centre who have gone over and above today, working extra hours to make sure Hertfordshire remains safe.”

The severe gusts of winds were caused by a phenomenon known as a 'weather bomb' - a very intense area of low pressure which 'explodes' when it travels underneath a powerful jet stream.

The busiest time for highways teams was between 2pm and 4pm when we received 170 calls regarding fallen trees. The busiest part of the county was St Albans, where 73 issues involving trees were reported, of which almost 40 required an emergency response.

If you see any highways issues please report them to us at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/highwayfaults