December 13 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Emergency services across East Anglia are preparing for a busy night as fears grow that an expected storm could bring havoc to the region.
Police officers are on standby overnight in case heavy rain and storm force winds bring chaos. And fire crews were preparing for the possibility of a busy night and tomorrow morning because of fears of major disruption on the roads and potential flooding caused by the predicted heavy rain.
Forecasters have warned that several hours of heavy rain followed by storm-force winds could bring down trees which could block roads and could need to be cleared by emergency services.
The East of England Ambulance Service is also braced for the storms and is urging drivers to take care on the roads.
A spokesman for EEAST said: “It’s important that people drive safe all of the time, but in times of bad weather, we’d urge you to take extra care. Lengthen the distance you leave between yourself and the vehicle in front so that you have more time to stop if needs be, as stopping distances can more than double on wet roads. If you have to drive through flood water, go through the most shallow part and test your brakes afterwards.
“Ensure your lights are fully functional before heading out. And if you see one of our vehicles, or any emergency services vehicle, on blue lights, remember to pull over when it is safe to do so and stop so that they can overtake you.”
A spokesman for Norfolk Police said: “With bad weather expected overnight, now is the time to plan your travel - essential journeys only and expect delays on the roads. We, like you are following weather reports. Don’t get caught out and drive safely.”
The Local Government Association (LGA) said local authorities would divert staff from their normal duties to help out with emergency relief efforts if required. They have found emergency accommodation should families be evacuated from their homes, and highways teams are on standby to rescue stranded motorists and clean debris from roads.
Councillor Mike Jones, chairman of the LGA’s environment board, said: “Councils are preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. Local authorities up and down the country are preparing to divert staff from their normal duties and have placed additional employees on standby to work with fire crews and other emergency services to get people help if they need it.”
UK Power Networks has declared a system emergency, and cancelled routine repairs on Monday to enable more teams to be available for response work. It has brought in more people to handle calls and has been speaking to other power companies to boost its repair teams.