People across Harborough urged to stay at home today (Friday) as Storm Eunice arrives

Winds are expected to reach up to 80mph across the East Midlands

By Red Williams
Friday, 18th February 2022, 10:00 am
Thousands of people across Harborough are being urged to stay at home today as Storm Eunice hits the UK with winds up to 80mph across the East Midlands.
Thousands of people across Harborough are being urged to stay at home today as Storm Eunice hits the UK with winds up to 80mph across the East Midlands.

Thousands of people across Harborough are being urged to stay at home today as Storm Eunice hits the UK with winds up to 80mph across the East Midlands.

The powerful storm – being tagged the worst to hit Britain for decades - smashed into the South-West and South Wales in the early hours of today as an extremely rare red warning was issued.

A severe amber weather warning is now being put out for Harborough as well as the rest of Leicestershire and Rutland as the region is set to feel the full force of the raging storm this afternoon and tonight.

People are being implored not to venture out unless they absolutely have to as ferocious winds and torrential rain will combine to make travel extremely risky – both by road and rail.

A string of trees have already been brought down across Harborough by Storm Dudley earlier this week.

And more extensive structural damage is expected today as more trees are uprooted and houses, gardens, shops, businesses and other buildings are battered sparking the threat of dangerous debris being blown around and injuring people.

“Strong winds have been forecast both today and tomorrow, with heavy rain tonight.

“There may be some snow over higher ground.

“Disruption to travel is likely and we are urging people across our force area to minimise travel where possible,” said Leicestershire Police.

“Any information and advice regarding road closures will be published on our social media channels.

“Further information can be found by visiting https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/warnings-and-advice”

Exhorting people to stay at home, Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service said today: “Please heed all advice today.

“Stay safe and stay indoors where possible.

“Is your journey really that essential?”

East Midlands Railway (EMR) is also advising customers not to travel today as Storm Eunice sweeps across the East Midlands.

“The Met Office has issued a rare Red Weather Warning as Storm Eunice is expected to bring extremely strong winds and continued disruption for much of the UK on Friday - with damage to buildings being likely and with roofs blown off and power lines brought down,” said EMR.

“Roads and bridges are also likely to close.

“It’s possible that there will be many falling branches and some uprooted trees too.

“These conditions will cause significant disruption across the railway network and trains will be required to travel much slower.

“There will also be significantly fewer trains on some routes and journey times will be significantly increased - with some journeys taking up to twice as long to complete,” said EMR.

Customers for whom it is vital that they travel should check EMR’s website before setting off.

“EMR will do everything it can to offer alternative routes during times of unplanned disruption.

“However, customers should keep in mind that other rail routes are likely to be also affected and road conditions may restrict its ability to respond to incidents with Rail Replacement buses and other road transport.

“Customers with tickets for Friday and are not travelling can claim a refund.”

Matt Stacey, Head of Stations at East Midlands Railway, said: “As the storm strength and potential impact becomes clearer, we are now strongly advising customers to not travel at all (on Friday).

"The strength of Storm Eunice will mean that on Friday there is likely to be widespread disruption to services across the country’s rail network.

"If customers absolutely need to travel we suggest they check our website for the latest information before setting off.

“They should also leave themselves plenty of extra time to reach their destination."

More information about how services are affected by Storm Eunice can be found on

Today Leicestershire County Council said it will have crews available all day and tonight as they fight to keep roads open and tackle storm damage.

Cllr Ozzy O’Shea, the council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Our forestry and emergency response teams will be available to make roads and footpaths safe if trees or branches fall due to strong winds.

“We will constantly monitor the weather situation and resources will be available if needed.

“However, along with other agencies, we would also urge people to consider only making journeys, if essential.”

Residents are also being encouraged to check for any unusual changes in their trees over the last few days.

People can ask themselves:

Are there any cracks in the tree which were not there a day or so ago?

Are there any cracks or humps in the soil which were not there a day or so ago?

Are there any hanging branches in the tree which could fall?

People can report fallen trees on the highway or other road issues by calling the council on 0116 305 0001.