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October 28 2013.

Sussex Police have had a very busy night across the county as the long-awaited storm finally arrived. Sadly, the 14-year-old boy who got into difficulties in the sea at Newhaven on Sunday afternoon (October 27) has not been found, but as at 5am, police were unaware of any other serious incident.

A taxi driver in Eastbourne had a lucky escape when a tree fell on his car in The Goffs at 1.15am, but he was able to climb out uninjured. A police car driver wasn't quite so fortunate when a tree fell right in front of his car on the B2104 Mayfield Flat at 1.40am. He sustained minor injuries when the air bag deployed, but gave himself a shake and carried on working!

Inspector Steve Grace has been monitoring the situation on the roads across the county. "There have been two main problems - surface water and fallen trees," he said. "The rain seems to be easing now, but there are large expanses of water on the roads and you just don't always see them in the dark. Hit one even at moderate speed and you can find yourself completely out of control.

"Fallen trees have blocked roads all over Sussex and as my colleague found out, when one falls right in front of you, there's no chance of avoiding it. If you have no choice but to drive then please do so with the utmost caution, but if you can stay at home until the worse of it blows through, then I'd recommend you do so."

Superintendent Grenville Wilson has been leading the Sussex Police operation to deal with the storm. He said: "While we know we are going to experience the full severity of the storm for a few more hours yet, the major impact at the moment would appear to be on the county's roads. The Environment Agency has issued 12 coastal flood alerts right along the coast and tell me that there has been more rain than predicted, but as yet we have not seen any significant problems.

"We are now watching to see what the height of the winds will bring and we anticipate that there will be more road disruption caused by fallen trees. Roads are being closed and re-opening all the time, so listen in to your local radio stations for updates on where there are problems on routes you may be planning to use. However, unless your journey really is necessary I would suggest that you try to delay it until at least lunchtime.

"If you're not off to work and are planning to venture out to look at Mother Nature at her mightiest, do look after yourselves. At 3.30am, I was watching people on CCTV on Brighton Beach dancing around at the waves' edge, occasionally being overtaken by the advancing water. One slip and they could have found themselves in real danger, along with the people who would try to rescue them.

"We witnessed the tragic power of the sea at Newhaven yesterday and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the young lad who is sadly still missing. I don't want to see that repeated."