Schools shut and warning to stay away from East Devon seafronts and avoid travelling in ‘perilous’ conditions as Storm Eunice blows in

East Devon residents have been warned to stay away from seafronts with winds of up to 100mph expected when Storm Eunice blows in on Friday, February 18.

A number of schools across the district and in Exeter have also announced they will shut for the day due to the conditions.

They currently include Exmouth Community College and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in the town, along with primary schools in Sidmouth, Ottery St Mary, Honiton, and Axminster. A full list can be found here.

The South West is set to be battered by gale-force gusts – the worst of them happening between 3am and 9pm.

Met Office chiefs have escalated a wind warning for the area to Amber.

A Red warning has been issued for northern Devon and its coastline.

Flood gates have been closed as a precautionary measure in Exmouth at Morton Crescent, Mamhead Slipway and by the Clock Tower.

East Devon District Council has today issued the following advice:

What to expect

There is a good chance that flying debris could result in a danger to life. It is likely there will be falling branches and some uprooted trees.

People are being advised to stay away from coastal paths and coastal areas where there will be large waves and beach debris is likely to be thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties.

There is a good chance that power cuts, which could occur and possibly affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage.

Roads, bridges and railway lines are likely to close, with delays and cancellations to public transport.

The Met Office says that Eunice may cause ‘significant disruption’ on the county’s roads, and that there is a good chance that flying debris could result in ‘a danger to life.’


Devon’s recycling centres will likely be closed tomorrow (Friday, February 17).

Recycling crews have asked residents to ensure their recycling bins have their lids on, are weighed down so they cannot blow away and are tucked against walls and fences where possible. Residents have also been asked to wait until 7am to put them at the kerbside.


Devon County Council (DCC) is advising people to only travel if absolutely necessary. Wind speeds are being constantly monitored, so please check before you travel. If you must travel please plan your journey and leave extra time.

Teams of tree surgeons will also be on stand-by to clear any fallen trees on the county’s roads.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, DCC cabinet member for highway management, said: “The Met Office has increased its alert level and Storm Eunice will make travelling conditions quite perilous for much of Friday morning and we are advising if you can avoid travelling, please do so.

“The forecast of such strong winds may well lead to fallen trees or branches, and other debris.

“If you must travel, please take extra care, particularly when its dark when it’s more difficult to see debris on the road.

“To prepare for this, extra people are being drafted to staff our Network Operations Control Centre and highways teams and tree surgeons will be on standby.

“If possible, postpone your journey until conditions improve and if you do have to travel, slow down, allow extra time for your journey and drive according to the conditions. Keep an eye on travel updates and weather forecasts and please plan your journey.”

DCC is reminding people of 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 and branches, particularly on minor roads where they may not have been reported;
  • Consider if your journey is essential and be alert to weather warnings;
  • Never drive through floodwater or swollen flowing water, you don’t know how deep it is. Find an alternative route;
  • Allow additional time for your journey;
  • Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front and leave plenty of room if you’re overtaking;
  • Drive with care and according to the conditions.

Safety warning with Storm Eunice set to batter Devon with winds up to 80mph

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