Skip to main content

Severe weather


Contents

Weather warnings

You can view the current weather warnings for our area on the Met Office website.

The Met Office also offer weather warning information on Twitter. You can also subscribe to their email alerts service.

Useful information

Environment Agency

You can call the Floodline with queries regarding flooding and flood warnings.

You can also call the Incident Communications Service (ICS) to report incidents.

Floodline: 0345 9 881188

ICS: 0800 80 70 60

UK Power Networks

For any power cut enquiries please contact UK Power Networks, 24 hours a day by:

UK Power Networks has a Priority Service Register for those who may be more vulnerable and require extra assistance in a power cut. UK Power Networks currently work with the British Red Cross who can activate their volunteers to support vulnerable customers if power is affected.

Preparing for a power cut

Below is some advice on how residents can prepare for a power cut:

  • keep UK Power Networks freephone number handy, 0800 31 63 105 or 0333 32 32 105 if calling from a mobile
  • see the UK Power Networks website for some useful videos offering you advice during a power cut
  • keep spare batteries for radios and torches – local radio stations often broadcast helpful information
  • keep an old-fashioned corded phone which you can plug in, as cordless phones won’t work in the event of a power cut
  • dress warmly in several layers of clothing, stay in one room or even get into bed
  • take care if using candles, tea-lights and other naked flames
  • keep fridges and freezers closed, with a blanket over as they will stay cold for many hours
  • switch off all your electrical equipment, except one light which will let you know when the power comes back on
  • remember the street lights may also be off so take care if you go out
  • look out for elderly neighbours; please consider taking them round a flask of hot water or hot food

Text alerts

Currently we are not expecting severe weather to affect our services, however please sign up for our text alerts to stay ahead of service disruptions.

Severe weather text alerts

We are offering residents the opportunity to sign up to a text messaging service providing the latest updates about our services affected by the weather.

Simply text the word SNOW to 07491 163 299

Terms and conditions

The text you send to register for the service will be charged at your operator's standard rate, there is no charge to receive texts from us.

You can stop the service at any time by texting SNOW STOP to 07491 163 299 or emailing: info@tunbridgewells.gov.uk and quoting your mobile number.

Our Text Messaging SMS Privacy Notice provides details of what information we collect from you, what we do with it, and who it might be shared with.

Roads and travel

Severe weather can make travelling particularly hazardous, you can check for updates and the status of services using the links below.

Roads

KCC Highways

Telephone: 03000 418181

Highways England

Telephone: 0300 123 5000

Trains

National Rail Enquiries

Telephone: 03457 48 49 50

Southeastern

Telephone: 0345 322 7021

Buses

Arriva

Telephone: 0344 800 44 11

Traveline

Telephone: 0871 200 2233

Who to contact

For advice during severe weather and updates on forecast severe weather, please visit the links below:

The Environment Agency

To check on the latest severe weather alerts and advice for your area, and what to do before, during and after severe weather.

Environment Agency website

Email: enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk

Telephone: 0345 988 1188

Twitter: @EnvAgency

Kent County Council

For information about school closures and to report issues with footpaths and roads maintained by KCC.

Kent County Council website

Email: county.hall@kent.gov.uk

Telephone: 03000 414 141

Twitter: @Kent_cc

UK Power Networks

Find out about power cuts, report a power cut or report damaged power lines.

UK Power Networks website

Telephone: 0800 783 8866

Twitter: @UKPowerNetworks

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

For information about council services.

Email: info@tunbridgewells.gov.uk

Telephone: 01892 526121

Twitter: @TWellsCouncil

Out of hours

If you need to contact the council out of hours please call 01892 515392.

Our out of hours and emergencies page gives further information about what we can help with, our emergency plan and links to local radio stations.

Gritting and snow clearance

Road salting

When icy conditions are forecast Kent County Council (KCC) will salt the main routes in Kent as a precautionary measure. These roads are called primary salting routes. KCC do not treat minor roads and lanes, and they are not responsible for motorways or trunk roads.

KCC use 64 winter service vehicles (including 4 mini gritters to treat narrower roads) to grit Kent's roads and have more on standby. KCC grit according to road surface temperature (RST) which is different from the air temperature and they have weather stations located across the county to help measure this.

The primary salting routes cover about 30% of roads in Kent, these include:

  • all A and B class roads
  • busy commuter routes
  • other roads that can become hazardous in frosty or icy conditions

If there is prolonged heavy frost, widespread ice or snow, KCC will consider salting another 15% of the road network. These are called secondary routes. These roads will be treated after the primary routes.

Snow clearance

KCC's snow clearing operation will take place when heavy and continuous snowfall settles.

KCC concentrate on primary routes such as:

  • access to hospitals
  • fire stations and other important facilities while it's snowing or if there are strong winds causing drifting

Once the main roads are clear, KCC will work on other roads.

It may not be possible to clear every road, and some roads may have to be left to thaw naturally. If you have to drive, please be extra careful and be prepared should you break down or get stuck.

Snow ploughs only work effectively when snow is more than 5cm (2in) deep, they also cannot work on roads that have road humps or similar traffic calming measures.

Highways England clear motorways and trunk roads.

How Kent County Council clear the snow

KCC use snow ploughs fitted onto gritters to plough snow from the roads. They don’t grit on top of snow. Snow has to be ploughed, because grit will not melt it.

KCC have arrangements with approximately 117 farmers covering over 200 routes across the county, who can assist in snow clearance when needed.

They also have 12 snow blowers and can hire extra machinery if we need to.