Suffolk/Essex: Region takes another battering as storm brings severe gale force winds and torrents of rain
06:09 15 February 2014
Another bruising winter storm was forecast to hit the Suffolk and north Essex overnight.
The Met Office issued an amber warning for wind in Suffolk, Norfolk and parts of Essex after 6pm yesterday and the Orwell Bridge was closed, remaining so until this morning.
Yellow warnings for rain, and even snow, in the east of England were also in place and over half an inch of rain was predicted to fall.
Some forecasters predicted isolated gusts of up to 80mph. However Steve Western, of Weatherquest, said the winds would be gale to severe gale-force at the coast and slightly weaker inland.
“This evening and overnight will be cloudy, wet and windy with gale-force winds and gusts of 50 to 70mph through the overnight period,” he said.
“Lowest temperature will be 7C with the winds strong to near gale-force inland but along the coast gale or even severe gale, particularly just on the Essex coast – that’s where the winds are likely to be the strongest.
“Strong winds continue into Saturday morning and again staying fairly wet with rain or squally showers through the morning.”
The Met Office added: “Another storm runs north-eastwards 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.”
Suffolk Police reported multiple floods on the roads last night, some of the worst were in Long Melford’s Bull Lane between the A134 junction and the B1064 Hall Street junction.
Suffolk County Council were also making preparations yesterday to prevent some of the severe flooding which occurred in Gardiner Close, Bury St Edmunds, after torrential rain last weekend. The council’s emergency planning team used diggers to rebuild the bank of a ditch which had sagged and washed away, resulting in much of the flooding from last week.
A spokesman said: “We have fortified this natural flood defence after recognising the damage that had been done to it both before and during last week’s flood.”
In Essex, police warned road users to beware of fallen trees, and there was also predicted to be damage to buildings.
An accident happened after power lines came down on the Coggeshall Road between Colchester and Braintree, resulting in casualties, and motorists reported treacherous driving conditions on the A12 in Witham.
Chief superintendent Trevor Roe, of Essex Police, said: “Fortunately the worst weather is likely to be later into the evening and night after the rush hour.
“But we would advise people not to travel unless absolutely necessary until the winds have lessened and to take appropriate steps to secure their homes and property against the weather.
“There is a potential for trees and power lines to come down as a result of the wind and for flying debris to be a danger at the peak of the storm. If possible, people should stay inside until it has passed.”