STORMS battered the country last night (Monday, December 23),causing devastation throughout the Midhurst and Petworth area, leaving to travel delays and disruption.
MORE than 600 calls were made to 999 and fire and rescue crews worked through the night.
On Monday night (December 23) police were forced to close North Mill bridge, Midhurst, after it disappeared under two feet of water and today there is still only single file traffic along the bridge, causing delays through North Street.
A spokesman for West Sussex Fire and Rescue said: “In the last 24 hours WSFRS has received over six hundred 999 calls and our fire and rescue crews have been working throughout the night and this morning in response to the severe weather conditions experienced across the county.”
On Monday night, crews were called to several incidents across the area.
Just after 7.15pm, crews from Petworth were called to a house in East Street, Petworth, to deal with flooding to a cellar.
At the same time, a crew from Billingshurst went to a house in Daux Road, Billingshurst, to pump flood water from a property.
At 8.15pm, Petworth fire crews helped a person trapped in a car on the A285 at Upwaltham, before removing the car which was stuck in flood water.
At the same time, people were trapped in two cars on the A272 at Petworth and were recused by crews from Midhurst.
Shortly after 8.30pm, crews from Midhurst helped two people trapped in a vehicle by fast flowing flood water in Heyshott.
At 8.45pm, a vehicle was dug from a landslide at Station Road, Petworth.
Three people were trapped on a bridge at Kirdford by flood water and a fallen tree. Crews from Storrington and Petworth were at the scene.
At 11pm, crews were called to the A283 at Fittleworth after a large tree blocked the road, with multiple cars marooned in flood water - the tree was cut up and removed from the road.
Today (December 24), crews from East Wittering were called to a house in Jobsons Lane, Lurgashall, to pump water from the ground floor of the property, just after 3am.
At 3.30am, crews from Chichester were called to a cottage in Heyshott to deal with flood water.
Properties in Loxwood, Billingshurst, Kirdford and Midhurst were also affected by flood water - with three people and one dog rescued from a house in Loxwood.
At 7am, crews from Petworth were called to the A272 at Wisborough Green to free one person trapped in their vehicle by fast flowing water.
Several residents have reported problems with telephone signals, particularly with provider O2, following the storm.
The Christmas tree in Market Square, Petworth, was also a victim of the weather, and was knocked over on Monday night.
In Graffham and Heyshott cars were stuck in flood water, and Graffham was almost completely isolated by the flood water.
There is currently fast flowing water through the centre of Iping.
Fire service are deploying boats and rafts but they have advised people not to attempt to go up there because of the risk of being stranded.
Elsewhere in Midhurst, Bepton Close has been flooded and the area around the Cowdray Causeway is underwater.
There is flooding on the A272 Easebourne Lane in Midhurst between the A286 Dodsley Lane junction and the Lambert’s Lane junction.
On the A285, Station Road is blocked southbound between the A272 Pound Street junction in Petworth and the Beechwood Lane junction in Duncton, because of flooding.
The Met Office has issued warnings ahead of further storms expected to hit the country on Friday.
Another spell of stormy weather is expected to affect many areas, with winds increasing later on Boxing Day but likely to peak during Friday (December 27).
Gusts of 70-80 mph are possible especially in exposed parts of the west and south.
Spells of heavy rain can also be expected, including areas that remain saturated from rainfall earlier in the week.
More than 70,000 homes have been left without power in areas including Chichester, Surrey and Sussex and Scottish and Southern Energy have released the following statement: “Severe winds across the south of England continued overnight resulting in further damage to the Southern Electric Power Distribution (SEPD) electricity network.
“SEPD engineers have been working since around 6am on Tuesday morning assessing the damage and starting repairs.
“Good progress has been made by engineers carrying out repairs, with around 20,000 customers having their power restored throughout the course of yesterday and a further 20,000 restored this morning.
“Currently, around 70,000 homes are without power in the SEPD area.
“Conditions are extremely challenging as trees have been brought down in many areas making travel and access difficult. “The areas affected by power loss include rural areas.
“Repairs will continue throughout the day and every effort will be made to restore power to customers as quickly as possible.
“Anyone who experiences a loss of electricity supply is urged to contact the team on 0800 072 7282 particularly if reporting damage or aware of a neighbours or friends who may need extra help.”