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Gallery: Wettest year for more than a century in region

10:24 28 December 2012

Coping with sudden flooding after torrential rain in Felixstowe.

Coping with sudden flooding after torrential rain in Felixstowe.

Pete Aldous 2012

THIS year is the wettest ever - and that is official.


Hosepipe Ban

April 5 - Anglian Water introduces its first hosepipe ban for 20 years after the company calls the drought the ‘worst in a century’

May 2 - After the wettest April on record Anglian Water maintains the ban saying underground water levels remain low

May 11 - The Environment Agency keeps the region’s drought status but lifts it in several counties across the country

June 14 - Anglian Water lifts the hosepipe ban after reservoir and river levels are restored

Figures released today confirm 2012 - which included one of the driest spells on record - was the wettest in Suffolk and Essex’s history.

The average rain for the year is set to be recorded at 788mm - compared to just 453.7mm in 2011. The previous record was in 2001 when 779.6mm fell in East Anglia.

And yet in April Anglian Water was forced to announce a hosepipe ban as it battled with a drought. At the time experts said only extraordinary weather would lift the ban - by June reservoir were back to normal.

But it did not stop raining then, sadly. Throughout the year drivers have battled submerged roads, farmers have been working on water-logged fields and rivers have burst their banks.

And even the Queen had to battle inclement weather as she tried to enjoyed the Diamond Jubilee flotilla in torrential downpours.

And it has not got any better as the year has worn on - yesterday drivers found themselves stuck on some rural roads after more heavy rain.

Last night forecasters said they were expecting a stormy weekend in the run up to the new year’s celebrations but did predict a continuation of the warm tempratures well into January.

Now farmers are now struggling to plant winter crops as vast pools of water remain on fields.

Brian Finnerty, spokesman for NFU East Anglia, said: “It’s been a very challenging year for farmers, they are used to dealing with the weather, it’s something they have to work with, but it’s been challenging this year.

“We’d like to see a return to more normal weather patterns for 2013. We speak to farmers about the drought situation and about building more resilience in their business – having access to reservoirs.

“This is going to be ongoing in the future with climate change happening, we will see more extremes of weather in the future.

“Farmers are finding it difficult to get on to fields - it’s very wet out there - farmers have not been able to put out their winter crops.

“We are seeing lower levels of planting than normal. They are doing the best they can in challenging circumstances.”

This year Wattisham recorded a total of 784mm of rain – 40% more than its average yearly figure.

Andrewsfield, Essex, has had a total of 816.8mm this year compared to just 472.6mm of rain in 2011.

Steve Western, forecaster for Weatherquest said: “It’s currently one of the wettest autumns in living memory, farmers have had an appalling time. “We’ve had extreme rainfall in September and it’s not just the fact that it’s been wet - there’s been no dry interludes.

“We have had a constantly wet autumn, we have not had two dry days and this is what has caused the problem. The rain has fallen steadily over such a period that places are constantly water-logged.”



Annual Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

Organisers behind one of Suffolk’s largest annual events, Bury St Edmunds’ Christmas fayre, are hoping today’s drizzly weather won’t dampen spirits on the last day of the event.

Domestic violence reports increase

Domestic violence reports soared by 12% in Suffolk last year with more than 2,000 recorded incidents involving male victims, police have said.

The close-knit Smith family in 2006: Matt, Wendy, Nikki and Barry

It can be upsetting and lonely having a child with a disability, but Wendy Smith would rather shout about the many positives. Steven Russell hears how love and kindness trumps any anger and bitterness

Woman conned by bogus caller (Stock photo)

A Hadleigh woman who lost £2,500 in a police scam has warned others to be alert to the crime.

The Essex and Herts Air Ambulance

A man was air lifted to hospital with chest pains after he was involved in a two-vehicle crash in Essex.

Members of the nursing team at Ipswich Hospital.

Carers and visitors of people being looked after at Ipswich Hospital will next month be able to spend more time with patients as new extended visiting hours are introduced.

She was last seen in the area of Downside Close in Ipswich.

Concern is growing for a 49-year-old woman who has gone missing in Ipswich.

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