More than 500 homes across the Forest were without power and some residents were evacuated to places of safety as the area was hit by Storm Eunice.

A major incident was declared by Gloucestershire’s Local Resilience Forum on Thursday (February 17), 24 hours before Storm Eunice was expected to hit.

Changes to schools, council services and public transport.were put in place.

Rest centres were set up at Lydney Community Centre and the Latchen Rooms in Longhope for residents who were advised to leave their homes.

The high winds caused some damage including to the roof of the parade of shops in front of the Bream Road car park in Lydney.

Local firefighters responded to help make the roof safe.

The Environment Agency said flood defences along the Severn Estuary stood up well to the battering from the storm.

Environment Agency operations manager Anthony Parry said: “Our flood defences stood up to the challenge and provided valuable protection to more than 2000 homes and businesses along the estuary.”

Gates at Lydney Harbour, Avonmouth, Sharpness and Epney worked to deflect the full force of the tidal surge along 80 miles of the estuary and reduced the risk of flooding to nearby communities

On Saturday morning, Western Power Distribution announced that it had reconnected electricity supplies to 435,000 properties in Gloucestershire and surrounding counties with 72,000 still without electricity.

Schools returned to online learning on Friday as schools were shut as a precaution due to the storm.

Council staff and firefighters worked through the night ahead of the storm hitting to put preparations in place.

Volunteers from the Lydney Flood Action Group and town councillors joined the response by knocking on doors in areas at risk of flooding to give advice and deliver sandbags.

Town clerk of Lydney, Mr Stephen Holley said: “Lydney Town Council and volunteer residents were pleased to have been able to assist the district council’s emergency planning team, which took over Lydney Community Centre in Naas Lane as an emergency rest centre. 

“Some of our councillors (were) also assisting at the centre.

“Volunteers, staff and councillors supported  the emergency planning team by knocking on doors in the evacuation area urging residents to evacuate overnight and providing the emergency guidance information. 

“Sandbags were delivered around Lydney to the Station Road, and Cookson Terrace as the prime risk area and also to Lakeside, New Mills and other locations where flooding is a known issue.”

Gloucestershire County Council suspended all school transport on Friday and advised schools to use online learning – advice taken by schools in the Forest.

It said that with winds of up to 90mph, it would not be safe for schoolchildren to be at the roadside.

County highways were also monitoring the A48 at Newnham and would close it if necessary.

The Forest Council suspended waste collections on Friday with crews returning on Monday or Tuesday to collect waste.

Green waste collections were also suspended on Monday and Tuesday (February 21 and 22) to give priority to catching up with waste collections.

The council said those who missed a food waste collection on Friday could put out extra this coming Friday (February 25).

Leader of the Forest Council, Cllr Tim Gwilliam (Prog Ind, Berry Hill) praised the response to the emergency.

He said: “What a team of people the Forest has to call on.”