Safety advice has been given to East Devon residents – with 80mph winds and heavy rain forecast as Storm Ciara looks set to batter Britain.
The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning of strong winds for tomorrow (Sunday, February 9).
Drivers have been urged to take care on the roads, while people have been told to stay away from the swell in coastal areas.
Devon County Council (DCC) says it is prepared for flooding and fallen trees and has extra staff on standby.
Gusts could reach up to 80mph in coastal areas and 70mph inland.
Beer Coastguard has also urged members of the public not to risk their lives for the sake of a photo of the wild weather.
Its crew members will be patrolling beaches from Sidmouth to Lyme Regis.
Highways chiefs say coastal routes could be impacted and high-sided vehicles could be unsettled in storm-force winds.
Councillor Stuart Hughes said: “The Met Office warnings suggest this is expected to be the most severe storm of the winter so far, so we would encourage everyone to take extra care when travelling this weekend.
“There is a chance of surface water flooding and the possibility that trees could be blown down in the strongest gusts, so there may be hazards on the road that you might not expect.
“I would urge people to avoid travelling at night in stormy conditions.”
The yellow Storm Ciara warning is in force until just before midnight on Sunday.
DCC has issued the following advice:
- Avoid overnight travel unless absolutely essential as roads will always be more hazardous at night with poorer visibility;
- Be alert to fallen trees, particularly on minor roads where they may not have been reported;
- When the wind is at its peak, consider if your journey is really necessary, and be alert to weather warnings;
- Never drive through floodwater. Find an alternative route;
- Allow additional time for your journey;
- Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front;
- Drive with care and according to the conditions.
A Beer Coastguard spokesperson said: “During Saturday night, all day Sunday and into Monday, Storm Ciara will bring storm-force winds, heavy rain, large waves and heavy sea swell along the coast of the UK.
“When the waves hit land they will throw up pebbles big and small which could damage property and could cause serious injury to anybody in their path.
“If you get too close and a wave hits you, it could drag you out to sea – it won’t matter how good a swimmer you are, you will suffer serious injury, or it could even be fatal.
“Please stay a safe distance from the sea, photos are nice, but don’t risk your life for a picture.
“Coastguard teams will be out patrolling along the coast.
“Beer Coastguard will be patrolling the beaches at a safe distance between Sidmouth and Lyme Regis
“Please stay safe.”