Thursday, February 13, 2014
Heavy rain and gale-force winds, which are set to batter our region tomorrow and into the weekend, will help make this England’s wettest winter for 250 years, the Environment Agency warned.
The forecast of more misery followed storms which yesterday saw hurricane-force winds in the south-west and Wales, while a man believed to be clearing a fallen tree from power lines was killed in Wiltshire.
The storm left thousands of people in our region without power, but the area was spared the worst of the damage felt elsewhere.
The Environment Agency warned travel across our region “could be difficult and dangerous in places”.
More than a dozen communities were last night waiting for power supplies to be reconnected following high winds which battered the region.
Parts of north-west Norwich, Gorleston, Attleborough, Holt, Bridgham, Stanton, Watlington, Leverington and Hoveton were among those places affected by power cuts, which mostly started in two periods between 3pm and 4.30pm and 6.15pm and 7pm.
The afternoon’s strong winds felled a two-storey high tree in Birbeck Road, Norwich, while there were reports that police helped after a roof was blown off a garage in Barford, blocking Chapel Lane for a period.
There were no injuries or damage to property when the eucalyptus fell from Laurie O’Court’s front garden, blocking Birbeck Road.
He said: “Fortunately, when it came down there was no-one walking under it.” He said he wrote to Norwich City Council on January 6, raising concerns about the safety of the tree, but said he had not received a reply.
His neighbour, Polly Hulme, saw the tree fall, and said: “The wind was blowing and the top of the tree was really bent and I could see it was going to go. All of a sudden it just fell.”
Trains on the Cambridge to Norwich line were delayed by a tree falling down near Shippea Hill, near Ely, while in Rackheath a fire crew was sent to help with a trampoline that had blown into a tree and was overhanging a road on Dobbs Lane at 3.40pm. Work to repair the damage caused by the storm surge of December 5 continued throughout yesterday’s wind and rain in Cromer, which had largely abated by mid-afternoon. By 4pm, Norfolk police control room said it had already received more than a dozen calls from across the county reporting trees or other objects blocking roads or causing a danger to road users. The Orwell Bridge, which carries the A14 over the river Orwell near Ipswich, was closed due to high winds, before reopening at 5.15pm.
By 6pm, Chris Bell from the UEA-based Weatherquest, said the worst of the winds had passed, and today would be breezy, but for the most part fairly bright, apart from the odd shower.
Elsewhere in the country, in west Wales and north-west England, a red warning – the most severe type and the first of the winter – has been issued for winds of up to 100mph.
How has this winter’s miserable weather affected you? Email email@example.com