Heavy rain and gales forecast for region

Strong winds may cause further disruption this week. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Heavy rain and gales are expected in Suffolk and north Essex - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

People in Suffolk and north Essex have been warned to brace themselves for a period of unsettled weather - with gales and a wave of heavy rain expected to hit the region. 

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for rain from midnight until midday on Thursday, with a risk of potential flooding. 

Met Office chief meteorologist Dan Suri said: "Following a cold spell where the main hazard was snow, our focus now turns to notably heavy rain moving across the UK this week.

"Some locations could see over 100mm of rain falling through the course of just a couple of days. with up to 200mm possible over higher ground."

Flooding of the picnic area at Needham Lake this week.

Recent flooding at Needham Lake - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Archant

MORE: See drone pictures of flooding in Suffolk

The Environment Agency has urged people living in risk areas to prepare for potential flooding as early as this morning, as the heavy rain hits already saturated ground.

Defences including temporary barriers and the opening of flood storage reservoirs are being prepared, the Environment Agency said.

Drivers who have to travel are also being urged to take extra care on motorways and major roads due to the expected band of rain.  

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Highways England is urging drivers to be prepared before setting out on essential journeys in their vehicles. 

The agency also said there was a risk the Orwell Bridge could close due to gales. 

Jeremy Phillips, head of road user safety at Highways England, said: “Most of us already slow down in snow, ice or fog but when it rains we consider it normal so don’t adapt our driving.  

“Rain makes it harder for tyres to grip the road and harder for drivers to see ahead – significantly increasing the chances of being involved in a collision.   

“We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys, with heavy rain expected over the coming days.” 

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