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Update: Orwell Bridge reopens after gales cause fallen trees, leave thousands without power and transport problems

09:26 15 February 2014

A fallen tree brought down power cables in Great Yeldham.

A fallen tree brought down power cables in Great Yeldham.

Archant

Suffolk and Essex have been lashed by more strong winds overnight, causing damage, power cuts and travel problems.

There are reports of trees being brought down across the region, and thousands left without power, following the gales which were expected to reach more than 60mph on the coast.

The Orwell Bridge has reopened having been closed since 10pm last night. It was initially due to reopen at 6am but was delayed as the strong winds continued.

There has been minor disruption on some Greater Anglia rail services, with a number of trains delayed due to obstructions on the line.

On Saturday morning over 2,000 properties in Suffolk and nearly 1,800 in Essex were without power.

Suffolk police say they received more than 190 weather-related calls overnight and this morning - mainly for trees and branches in roads, although that figure is likely to rise as further damage is discovered first thing this morning.

But no major roads in the county - apart from the Orwell Bridge - are thought to be affected.

Bull Lane in Long Melford is described as “just passable” between the A134 junction and the B1064 Hall Street junction due to flooding.

While The B1022 in Tiptree is blocked between Harborough Hall Road and Blind Lane, and Beckingham Road in Tolleshunt D’arcy are both blocked in the both directions because of a fallen tree.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service control room say they have received around 100 calls between 8pm last night and 8.25am today to incidents involving the high winds.

The calls have ranged from trees fallen in the roads, power cables that have come down, a crane in a precarious position and roofs blowing off properties.

Police are advising motorists to allow extra time for their journeys, reduce their speed, leaver greater distance between themselves and the vehicle in front and consider the likelihood that there could be a fallen tree or debris on the road ahead.

Ipswich Borough Council’s parks and cemeteries will reopen early this afternoon after council staff carried out a safety assessment following last night’s wild weather.

“We will reopen parks this afternoon but we still advise people to take caution in open spaces,” a spokesman said.

All football games scheduled for this morning and afternoon at Whitton and Gainsborough sports centres, Ransomes and Ipswich parks have been cancelled following a further pitch inspection.

Meanwhile, the Met Office has issued a yellow warning for ice in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, and the Environment Agency have issued flood alerts for the Bury Brook, Rattlesden River and River Gipping through and including Stowmarket and Needham Market, the River Deben from and including Debenham to Bromeswell and the River Lark from Clopton to Martlesham, and the River Waveney from Diss to Ellingham including Bungay.

5 comments

  • Keep what close together? Who or what is "them"? Please explain MIGUEL100.

    Report this comment

    Newsmaster Excalibur

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • why not keep them close altogether till the weather take a turn

    Report this comment

    MIGUEL100

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • Yep well done john with you all the way

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

  • please can i ask why the orwell bridge has to be closed in high winds .with the weight of many of the hgv lorrys it would make more sence for the police road controllers to escort so many vechiels over at controled speed .to keep this main route open to save the gridlock as seen last week

    Report this comment

    g j m

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • I think it is quite obvious what 'MIGUEL100' means: he meant to say "closed" and he obviously refers to those places closed but soon to re-open (such as parks). When reading it is sometimes useful 'Newsmaster Excalibur' to use context to aid comprehension. You don't happen to be part of the Archant staff, do you?

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Ipswich’s role as the county town of Suffolk is being questioned, with some suggesting Bury St Edmunds is more deserving of the title.

Arlington’s Brasserie, in Ipswich, has an historic link with the women’s suffrage movement and next week it will host a celebration of International Women’s Day.

A new push is underway to recruit more ‘on call’ firefighters to make up a shortfall of around 40 across the county.

TV antique experts will be at a Suffolk estate today to film an episode of Flog It for the forthcoming series.

Highways England chiefs have said an update on whether the Orwell Bridge will be open or closed to drivers today has been delayed again until around 9.30am.

An unlicensed driver must pay more than £2,500 in compensation after damaging a work colleague’s car before causing a crash and driving off.

Highways England chiefs have said the Orwell Bridge is “highly likely” to close between 10am and 6pm today with gusts of up to 65mph expected on the A14.

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