Suffolk/Essex: Orwell Bridge due to re-open this morning following strong overnight winds
15:58 14 February 2014
The Orwell Bridge was scheduled to re-open this morning as the worst of the strong winds subsided.
The Highways Agency said the bridge was closing last night for safety reasons – some forecasters had predicted wind gusts of up to 80mph.
The bridge closed from 10pm yesterday and was expected to be open again by 6am today.
Meanwhile the Met Office have issued an amber warning for wind in Suffolk and north Essex. A yellow warning for rain across the East of England also remains in place.
Their website said: “Another storm runs northeastwards across western and northern parts of the UK during Friday and into Saturday, before clearing to the northeast. Around the southern flank of this storm very strong southerly or southwesterly winds are expected to develop, primarily affecting southern and southeastern counties of England.”
Nigel Brown, from Tendring District Council, said: “What we are telling people is that there is no need to panic about the situation but we want them to be aware and prepared.
“We have also sent a separate message out to all holiday parks in the area as the winds seem to be the biggest issue and we have warned them to make everything as secure as possible on their sites.
“It appears the winds will be stronger than was initially expected and there could be trees blown down and damage caused by loose objects. The worst weather is likely between 6pm and 10am tomorrow.”
There have also been reports of some flooding in Felixstowe. A flood alert is in place for the River Waveney from Diss to Ellingham, including Bungay.
During the Orwell Bridge closure there is a planned diversion route, via the A1156, A1189 and A1214 through Ipswich.
Drivers planning to travel during the current severe weather are encouraged to plan their journey in advance and check the latest weather and traffic conditions along the route.
Drivers should be aware of sudden gusts of wind, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space.