The Island is today clearing up a trail of destruction after a hurricane-force storm engulfed the garden Isle last night and into this morning, bringing trees and power lines down and leaving roads submerged.
IslandEcho began 18 hours of live coverage at 14:00 yesterday afternoon (Sunday) as St Jude approached the Island’s shores, bringing light winds and scattered rain showers which quickly led to a lose of power for some 600 homes in Haylands and Havenstreet.
As the afternoon progressed, ferry cancellations began and Hovertravel suspended their services between Ryde and Southsea, which remain suspended this afternoon. Fears grew about the intensity of the incoming storm, with the atmospheric pressure dropping and the winds picking up, leading to a number of trees to come down particularly in the East Wight.
Darkness fell before 17:00 with flood water appearing in a variety of usual hotspots and driving conditions deteriorating rapidly, leading Hampshire Constabulary to advise drivers to only make journeys if absolutely necessary.
An amber weather warning put in place by the Met Office remained solid through the evening as up to Force 10 gales battered the Island and heavy rain lashed down leading to further flooding, making a number of roads impassable.
Cross-Solent ferry operators suspended sailings with a rising tide, shocking gusts and flooded terminals.
Strong gusts of winds knocked over a brick wall in Yaverland resulting in 2 tonnes of brick to be scattered across the carriageway which lead to two-way temporary traffic lights being installed by HSS Hire as midnight approached.
Into the early hours of this morning, conditions remained the same across the Island with further flooding, power lines and trees being brought down with winds increasing to Force 12 and a top gust speed of 99mph at The Needles Old Battery, according to the Met Office.
As the sun rose above Sandown Bay, the true scale of the storm was discovered after the cliff face on the Sandown to Shanklin revetment fell overnight, completely destroying a seaside beach hut and leaving the local Lifeboat station without a phone line.
The Island’s Ambulance Service has thanked Islanders for their restraint and patience overnight as one of the worst storms in over 20 years has hit the Island.
Ian Yeo, from Isle of Wight Ambulance Service, said:
“Compared to a normal Sunday night we attended six blue light emergencies. This is half the number we would usually attend and compares with 21 emergency call outs on Saturday.
“We’re grateful to Islanders for acting responsibly overnight and only calling 999 for real emergencies.”
Overnight there were two medical evacuations by helicopter. Coastguard Rescue helicopter 104 was activated and transferred two critically ill patients at 23:00 to Southampton University Hospital.
Meanwhile, the Environment Agency have issued a flood alert for the Eastern Yar and tributaries from Whitwell to Bembridg, following 48mm of rain since 17:00 yesterday. The river at Alverstone is said to be continuing to rise and may cause some flooding to low lying areas.
From the editor: Island Echo hope you enjoyed our coverage of the St Jude Storm with out 18 hours of live updates, bringing you the latest from across the Isle of Wight.
We did have slight disruption earlier this morning with our servers – It is understood this is because of the amount of readers who were trying to access the website at one time. This issue has now been resolved.