Prince Philip battles through the rain - Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire drenched by downpours, as Met Office issues yellow warning of ice
PUBLISHED: 15:59 26 January 2014 | UPDATED: 17:05 26 January 2014
© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2014,
Even Prince Philip admitted defeat to the weather today, as the rain lashed down at Sandringham.
The 91-year-old Duke of Edinburgh and a party of house guests battled their way through the downpour on foot, sheltering under umbrellas, on their way from Sandringham House to the Church of St Mary Magdalene this morning.
But after morning service, which included a sermon by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justion Welby, aides fetched a pair of Range Rovers, which were used to transport the party back to the house.
The Queen, who turns 87 in April, was driven to and from church by Bentley, with a blanket over her knees. A small group of well-wishers gathered in the rain to greet her.
Motorists in Norfolk are being warned to expect icy patches on roads tomorrow morning as temperatures plunge.
Weatherquest, based at the UEA, is predicting a touch of frost overnight with icy patches on roads in the morning.
Norfolk County Council is also warning of cold conditions overnight with icy conditions. Gritters will be in action later.
However, brighter conditions are expected for Monday.
East Anglia was lashed by storms yesterday, with fallen trees causing problems on road and rail.
A storm swept over areas including King’s Lynn, Fakenham, Swaffham, Wymondham, Wroxham, Norwich, Ormesby, Cromer and Sheringham, with thunder rumbles and lightning flashes.
Trains to and from Norwich and London were seriously disrupted, with cancellations and delays after a tree fell onto overhead wires at Chelmsford.
Rail operator Greater Anglia said the problem was on the line between Ingatestone and Chelmsford, blocking the lines and causing cancellations and delays of up to 90 minutes.
The tree had been moved by 8pm, but it continued to cause delays into the night.
The Sheringham to Norwich line was suspended for a time due to a signal fault caused by a lightning strike.
And passengers are facing more disruption today, although planned engineering works are part of the reason.
Greater Anglia says, due to route improvement work taking place, buses replace trains between Norwich and Great Yarmouth / Lowestoft, although a train serivce will be in operation between Brundall and Great Yarmouth / Lowestoft.
And route improvement work also means buses replace trains between Norwich and Sheringham all day today.
Problems at a level crossing between Diss and Norwich has also caused some delays on services this morning.
Yesterday’s storms saw a number of trees fall down, including onto cars.
Norfolk police used social network Twitter to warn about fallen trees. They said: “If you are out on Norfolk’s roads please take care as we are getting reports of trees down- slow down arrive safe.”
Inspector Keith Philpott said motorists needed to be mindful.
Between 4.30pm and 5pm, Norfolk Constabulary received 15 calls in relation to fallen trees around the county.
“The most serious one was in Gooderstone where a tree has fallen on a vehicle. There are reports of up to 12 fallen trees on the A1065 towards Mundford,” Insp Philpott added.
Fire crews from Downham Market, Watton and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service’s urban search and rescue team went to Gooderstone just before 4.30pm.
While the driver was already safely out of the car, fire crews used chainsaws to make the scene safe and remove fallen branches from the road.
Emergency services were also called to Watermill Lane in Hoxne where a tree had fallen on a car. The urban search and rescue team used chainsaws to make the scene safe.
Crews were also called to the A1075 in Thetford after three cars crashed. One person was cut free by firefighters.
Several local football matches were affected with players having to leave the field due to thunder and lightning.
Cambridgeshire police tweeted: “We’re urging motorists to take care and only use roads for essential journeys after reports of fallen trees and standing water on the roads”.
There were reports of power cuts in Thetford, with UK Power Networks taking to Twitter to say: “We apologise that due to high volumes of calls, customers may be experiencing longer wait times than normal.”
Norfolk County Council sent out its gritters last night, while Weatherquest, based at the UEA, said today will see more heavy rain later today.
They said brighter conditions are expected for early Monday, but there could be some sleet in the morning.