Thousands of homes without power
MORE than 1500 homes are still without power because of today's strong winds.At the latest count 1,215 properties in Suffolk and 350 in Essex were still off-line.
MORE than 3000 homes have been without power because of today's strong winds.
At its height today's storm left 2100 homes in Suffolk and 1250 homes in Essex without power.
By 5pm, about 2700 customers were still without supply. This included about 1250 in Suffolk, 550 in Norfolk and 350 in Essex.
EDF Energy said it has brought in extra staff to help restore supplies as quickly and safely as possible.
The company's call centre staff in the east of England spoke with 5000 customers since this morning.
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Just before 12pm today the Orwell Bridge in Ipswich reopened after it was closed this morning due to the high winds.
Winds of up to 100 mph had been reported on the bridge which resulted in Suffolk police and the Highways Agency taking the decision to close the bridge at about 8am this morning.
Just before noon police confirmed the bridge had reopened but also warned that with winds likely to pick up at about 3pm, the decision to close it again could be taken.
Felixstowe port was closed as gale-force winds battered Harwich Harbour.
Both Trinity and Landguard Terminals at Felixstowe halted their operations - though Landguard was already closed following an accident last week which was caused by strong winds.
Ship-to-shore cranes at the port cannot work once winds hit 45mph because of the danger, and quayside container parks were out of bounds because of the fear of gusts ripping empty and lightly-filled metal boxes off stacks.
The poor weather has also resulted in a number of schools and one college being closed due to the bad weather. They are St Mary's CEVCP, Benhall, Mendham Primary, Harleston, Henley Primary, Ipswich, Witnesham Primary, Clare Middle School, Clare Primary School, St Gregory Primary School, Sudbury, and Otley College.
There have been numerous reports of trees being felled across the county and Ipswich Borough Council has also decided to close all cemeteries until further notice, although the crematorium remains open for services.
Since 9am Suffolk police have received 42 weather-related calls up to noon. The majority have concerned trees which have blown over, blocking or partially blocking roads. Two calls were received about traffic lights swinging dangerously in Lowestoft. A portable toilet was blown across a road in Ipswich, a flagpole was damaged in Lowestoft, a wall has been blown over in Reydon and a roof has been damaged in Aldeburgh.
Ipswich radio station Town 102fm is now back up-and-running after spending the morning off air thanks to high winds which knocked out the power at the transmitter site.
Waveney District Council is asking members of the public to avoid areas such as parks and cemeteries. A spokesman said: “So far, the council has received ten reports of trees either fallen or dangerous. This helps illustrate the importance of our warning to the public, to avoid visiting high-risk areas for their own safety.”
The council said a large tree had fallen onto a parked car by the doctor's surgery in Park Road, Lowestoft.
Police have urged motorists to take extra care on the roads today, due to the high winds and adverse weather conditions.
Police say only set out on your journey if it is really necessary and allow extra time for your journey and make sure you are driving appropriately to the weather conditions by slowing down and using dipped headlights.