WINCHESTER has been battered by strong winds as Storm Eleanor brought down trees in busy city roads.

A fallen tree is blocking Worthy Road (B3047) in Abbotts Barton, with the road closed in both directions.

Fred White from Kings Worthy was driving on the road when the tree came down, but was thankfully was not injured.  

He said: "I was on my way to the gym and it came out of nowhere.

"I wasn't even going that fast, it was a slight bend and it was quite dark and then branches came down fast and I slammed on the brakes."

Drivers are facing long delays back to Stoke Road after the tree came down shortly after 8am. Another tree fell in nearby Bereweeke Road near Peter Symonds College.

It follows delays on the A272 between Winchester and Petersfield after a tree blocked the road at New Cheriton during the morning rush hour, as well as one in Bereweeke Road.

In the New Forest, two people were taken to hospital after their car was struck by a fallen tree in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Police, fire and ambulance crews were alerted at about 3am to the incident near the Cat and Fiddle pub on the Hampshire and Dorset border.

One person was arrested on suspicion of drug driving following the incident.

Meanwhile, the strong winds caused travel misery for ferry passengers heading between Southampton and the Isle of Wight as Red Jet services were suspended for much of Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

The incidents happened as thousands of homes have been left without power as Storm Eleanor hit Britain with winds of up to 80mph.

Forecasters warned lives could be at risk from flying debris as the fifth-named storm of the season arrived on Tuesday evening.

In England nearly 2,000 homes were hit by power cuts in the Midlands, as well as around 700 in the South West and 460 in Wales.

The Environment Agency issued 65 flood warnings and dozens of alerts across the country.

Vince Crane, of the AA, advised drivers to take extra care in the worsening conditions.

He said: "Road conditions can quickly deteriorate during very heavy rainfall, with drains becoming swamped or blocked and standing water causing surface spray, reduced visibility and potentially leading to flooding.

"Drivers will need to take extra care and expect delays, even on motorways.

"Strong or sudden gusts of wind are more likely on open stretches of road, when passing bridges or gaps in hedges, or when overtaking high-sided vehicles."

A 24-hour yellow weather warning covering Wales, England, most of Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland was put in place on Tuesday evening, expect to last until 6pm on Wednesday.

Meteorologist Emma Sharples said: "There is likely to be some disruption possibly to public transport, bridges and other public services such as mobile phones and people need to be aware that there could be debris as well."