Dozens of trees and heavy branches are being cleared from roads and railway lines in and around Brighton and Hove this morning (Monday 28 October).
The clear up follows the overnight storm which claimed at least three lives as it blew across southern England, including 14-year-old Dylan Alkins, from Newhaven.
The youngster was swept away as he swam in the sea at West Beach in the town yesterday (Sunday 27 October).
Chief Inspector Katy Woolford, from Sussex Police, said: “Both we and the coastguard have received reports during the afternoon of people being dangerously near water edge in places as far apart as Seaford and Brighton.
“Please, at least until the imminent severe weather abates, stay clear of the seashore for your own safety and in order to help the emergency services to be available to deal with other incidents.”
And Superintendent Grenville Wilson said that people had been messing around at the water’s edge in Brighton in the early hours, occasionally being overtaken by the advancing water.
He said: “One slip and they could have found themselves in real danger, along with the people who would try to rescue them.”
Brighton and Hove City Council said this morning that more than 50 fallen trees and branches had been reported, including in Chesham Street in Kemp Town and Preston Park Avenue in Brighton.
New Church Road in Hove was also blocked in both directions by a fallen tree near the junctions with Coleman Avenue and Wish Road. Another tree came down in Seafield Road, off Church Road, Hove.
The council said that all the bus lanes in the area were now open and added: “To reduce the amount of debris that could be blown around the city we are resuming refuse and recycling collections in less exposed areas of the city where the wind has started to reduce.
“We are asking residents with a Monday collection not to put out refuse or recycling unless it is safe to do so.
“Please only put your bin or box out if it can be firmly secured in a position where the contents will not be blown around.
“We are continuing to monitor the situation and will pick up any missed collections as quickly as possible.”
Fallen trees or debris caused by the storm can be reported to City Clean by calling 01273 292929 or emailing email@example.com.
The train operator Southern said that it was running a reduced timetable on all routes with no trains at all to Southampton.
Inspector Steve Grace said: “There have been two main problems – surface water and fallen trees.
“The rain seems to be easing now but there are large expanses of water on the roads and you just don’t always see them in the dark.
“Hit one even at moderate speed and you can find yourself completely out of control.
“Fallen trees have blocked roads all over Sussex and, as my colleague found out, when one falls right in front of you, there’s no chance of avoiding it.
“If you have no choice but to drive then please do so with the utmost caution but if you can stay at home until the worse of it blows through then I’d recommend you do so.”
Superintendent Wilson has been leading the Sussex Police operation to deal with the storm.
He said: “While we know we are going to experience the full severity of the storm for a few more hours yet, the major impact at the moment would appear to be on the county’s roads.
“The Environment Agency has issued 12 coastal flood alerts right along the coast and tell me that there has been more rain than predicted but as yet we have not seen any significant problems.
“We are now watching to see what the height of the winds will bring and we anticipate that there will be more road disruption caused by fallen trees.
“Roads are being closed and reopening all the time so listen in to your local radio stations for updates on where there are problems on routes you may be planning to use.
“However, unless your journey really is necessary I would suggest that you try to delay it until at least lunchtime.
“If you’re not off to work and are planning to venture out to look at Mother Nature at her mightiest, do look after yourselves.
“At 3.30am I was watching people on CCTV on Brighton beach dancing around at the waves’ edge, occasionally being overtaken by the advancing water.
“One slip and they could have found themselves in real danger along with the people who would try to rescue them.
“We witnessed the tragic power of the sea at Newhaven yesterday and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the young lad who is sadly still missing. I don’t want to see that repeated.”