Trains delayed, 49,000 homes without electricity and trees blown over as 80mph gusts hit Norfolk and Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 06:22 18 January 2018 | UPDATED: 19:07 18 January 2018
Around 49,000 homes across Norfolk and Suffolk are without power as the strong winds continue to sweep across the county.
Norfolk Police said it was dealing with an “unprecedented” number of calls in relation to the bad weather this morning.
Numerous roads have been affected by downed trees, thousands of homes are without power, and trains and flights have been cancelled.
Norfolk Police said it had received 858 calls since 5am, and had officers deployed at 35 locations across the county.
Inspector Richard Freeman said: “There are numerous road blockages around the county, essentially pretty much every road is affected,” he said.
“Unless there is a critical need to travel, our advice would be to remain at home where you are safe.”
Dan Holley, forecaster at Weatherquest in Norwich, said 83mph winds had been recorded at Tibenham - the strongest in the region for five years.
The wind is expected to ease after 10am.
UK Power Networks said more than 32,000 homes in Norfolk were affected this morning.
Across the border in Suffolk, there are reports of 17,700 homes without electricity.
More than 1,000 homes are without power in the Brandon area and has seen a number of schools in the town close due to being without and health and safety reasons.
Uk Power Networks said its engineers were “working hard” to restore power supplies.
Click here for the latest on the power cuts: http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/weather/uk-power-networks-electricity-wind-damage-1-5360020
Train operator Greater Anglia has warned of rail delays.
It said: “Due to high winds damaging the overhead electric wires between Stowmarket and Norwich all lines are blocked.”
Greater Anglia advised passengers not to travel between Norwich and Ipswich.
Train services between London Liverpool Street and Norwich will be cancelled, delayed or revised.
It added that due to weather conditions there will be no replacement bus service.
Rail services between Norwich and Great Yarmouth are also expected to be delayed due to trees blocking the line at Brundall. Disruption is expected until 11am.
Trains between Norwich and Sheringham, via Cromer, are also likely to be cancelled due to a fault with the signalling system in North Walsham. The delays are expected until 3pm.
There are reports of downed trees and road blockages at:
• Newmarket Road, Norwich
• A140 Tasburgh
• A47 Trowse
• A1065 Castle Acre and Swaffham
• A140 Hevingham
• B1150 at Coltishall
• A1065 Brandon
• B112 Methwold
• A140 between Roughton and Norwich
• North Walsham Road
• B110 at Swanton Novers
• A140 between Diss and Norwich, near Cherry Lane Garden Centre
• A11 eastbound at Thetford, close to A1075 junction
Click this link to view our live travel map: www.edp24.co.uk/motoring/live-traffic-map
Thirty schools have closed for the day due to high winds.
They include Caister Academy, Dersingham Primary and Nursery School and Drayton Junior School.
Forest Academy and Glade Primary School, both in Brandon, are also closed.
For a full list, click this link: http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/weather/norfolk-schools-close-as-70mph-winds-leave-them-without-power-1-5359775
Flights to and from Norwich Airport have also been cancelled. The 9am KLM fight from Amsterdam and the 9.55am Eastern Airways flight from Aberdeen have been cancelled.
Meanwhile, the 9.30am flight to Amsterdam from Norwich has been cancelled.
Other road incidents
On the A47, between the County Hall turn off and Dunston Hall junction, a pig shack was blown onto the road.
Daniel Bush tweeted: “Police say they are not sure yet if it was caused by the wind, or a big bad wolf.”
A tree has also fallen onto the wall of a house in Moore Avenue in Norwich.
Photographer Zak Nelson, who saw the tree, said:“There didn’t appear to be any major damage to the house. The tree had fallen onto the wall and the branches looked to be blocking the door.
“There were some lights on in the house but nobody was about so I just took a picture and left.”
Norfolk Police warning
Norfolk Police warned drivers to take extra care on their morning commute and is urging people to consider if their journey is absolutely necessary.
Superintendent, Malcolm Cooke, offered the following advice: “We want people to consider whether their journey is essential. If you do venture out, be mindful that flying debris, gusts of high winds and obstructions will make journeys more dangerous.
“If you have to travel, plan your journey using routes with less exposure to the weather and consider your mode of transport. Motorbikes and bicycles are particularly vulnerable in high cross winds. Wind of this severity has the potential to overturn high-sided vehicles and caravans.
“We also ask that, given the high number of 999 calls all emergency services are responding to overall today, people consider whether their call is appropriate and keep in mind that they could be waiting for a response longer than they expect.”
The Met Office said: “Very strong winds across England and Wales this morning. Be aware of longer journey times for the rush hour, especially in eastern parts where gusts over 70 mph are still possible. Here are the highest gusts recorded at 6am.”
Previous storms with winds over 80mph include:
• Storm Doris, February 23, 2017 - 81mph at Weybourne.
• St Jude’s Day storm, October 28, 2013 - 80mph at Andrewsfield.
Norfolk County Council said more than 100 people from its highways team was working on clearing trees and branches from roads.
Severe winds and safety concerns forced the closure of a major farm machinery show in Peterborough this morning.
Lamma 2018 brought thousands of farmers to the East of England Showground yesterday for the first day of the two-day event which usually attracts around 40,000 visitors.
But hundreds arriving at the venue this morning were prevented from entering the venue after safety officers reported “serious damage to stands and structures” following gales overnight.
Click here to read more about the event: http://www.edp24.co.uk/business/farming/severe-winds-force-closure-of-lamma-farm-machinery-show-in-peterborough-1-5359949
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