Weather: Beware the driving rain

A WEATHER warning has been issued as a deluge of persistent heavy rain sweeps across Suffolk, accompanied by strong to gale force winds in some areas.

Police took the step of urging motorists to be extra cautious as the wet weather once again struck the county.

A spokesman said: “It is important that people are aware that the rain will bring difficult driving conditions and, given that the ground remains wet following recent rainfall, also the risk of localised flooding.

“Motorists should be aware that the heavy rainfall is likely to result in standing water on roads – and should exercise caution and drive according to conditions.”

Meanwhile, businesses today told how they have been hit hard by the wash-out weather which has blighted Suffolk for the past month.

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Independent retailers in Ipswich said they had been affected by the torrential downpours with customers looking to buy jeans and coats rather than packing out their summer wardrobes.

Michael Pugh, owner of Aura in St Nicholas Street, said: “Everybody I’ve seen walk past the shop is dressed in winter coats and boots. I’ve not seen one person in summer-type clothing.

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“Business has definitely been affected by the bad weather. We’re now into May and most people are discount selling by now but we haven’t even had a summer season yet.

“I haven’t bought in any summer stock because I’ve got so much excess stock left and I’ve been buying in jeans which are not seasonal at all.”

And with the unsettled weather not likely to improve over the coming days, businesses are looking at ways to draw in customers. Jane Hosking opened her business Tea Boutique, also in St Nicholas Street, last August.

She said: “Everything was brilliant until this weather arrived and it’s had the most amazing effect really.

“I’ve got plenty of summer stock which was selling really well but it’s like someone’s switched the tap off.”

Ms Hosking is offering up to 50 per cent off certain items and free tea and coffee for every purchase made on Friday and Saturday at Tea Boutique.

n How has the rain affected you? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

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