December 13 2013 Latest news:
Monday, October 28, 2013
Seven people have been injured after a single-decker bus left the road in the high winds that have now hit the region.
The Norfolk Green X29 bus crashed into a fence after leaving the A1067 at Foxley, between Fakenham and Norwich.
Police and firefighters were called at 7.55am, and said there were seven minor injuries.
Appliances from Reepham and Dereham attended and the crews used small gear to release a casualty.
An ambulance service spokesman said: “A man in his 40s had a minor cut to his head and was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital as a precaution. The rest were in a state of shock. They were assessed at the roadside and discharged at the scene.”
About the situation across the county, at 9am a Norfolk police said: “Norfolk Police is experiencing a significant number of calls about fallen trees as it continues to respond to incidents relating to the current stormy conditions in the county.
“Since 8am, police have taken 36 weather-related calls and two calls relating to road traffic collisions. At least 33 calls relate to trees or hedges down across roads, against property, on vehicles, against powers lines and on railway tracks. There have also been reports of power lines blown down, with surface water and debris in the road additionally affecting travelling.”
Between midnight and 8am Norfolk police had also taken just over ten weather-related calls.
The spokesman reiterated the following advice:
• Consider whether your journey is essential. If you do venture out, be mindful that flying debris, gusts of high winds and obstructions will make journeys and outdoor activities more dangerous.
• If you have to travel, consider your mode of transport. Motorbikes and bicycles are particularly vulnerable in high cross winds. A storm of this severity has the potential to overturn high-sided vehicles and caravans
• Steer clear of sea fronts and quays. High winds will also give large waves and spray along the coasts. Avoid woodland, beaches and exposed headlands.
• Consider how to minimise risk to yourself, your family and your property – and be a good neighbour if you know an elderly or vulnerable person who might need some help.
UK Power Netwirks is reporting about 100,000 properties across the east of England are without power, as well as 40,000 is the south east.
Chris Bell, a forecaster for UEA-based Weatherquest, said the worst of the weather was likely to hit the county before 11am, with possible gusts of wind of up to 60mph.
“The biggest concern is the north east of the county, around the Sheringham to Hemsby to Happisburgh areas,” he said.
“The north east of Norfolk looks like it could get the strongest gusts.
“After midday the winds will start to ease. It’s still going to be blustery but the potentially damaging winds are going to be between now and 11am.”
Earlier today, Dan Holley, of Weatherquest, tweeted: “E Anglia: Worst of the winds now moving into Essex, then Suffolk (7-9am), and later Norfolk (8-10am). Gusts widely 40-50mph, 65-70 on coast”.
A Norfolk police spokesman said: “We have had a few trees come down across the county overnight - at Barnham, Griston, Marham, Gorleston, and Quidenham. Some have been cleared, some are in the process of being cleared.”
The spokesman said there had been three crashes overnight, although they may or may not have been weather-related.
The Met Office has issued advice to householders ahead of the powerful storm, which is set to hit East Anglia in the early hours of today.
Gales are the most common cause of damage and disruption in the UK and between 1962 and 1995, 184 deaths were caused by building failures resulting from wind.
The average cost of storm damage each year is at least £300m.
During the storm, the Met Office says:
■ Stay indoors as much as possible.
■ If you do go out, try not to walk or shelter close to buildings and trees.
■ Keep away from the sheltered side of boundary walls and fences.
■ Do not go outside to repair damage while the storm is in progress.
■ If possible, enter and leave your house through doors in the sheltered side, closing them behind you.
■ Open internal doors only as needed, and close them behind you.
■ Take care when driving on exposed routes such as bridges, or high open roads, delay your journey or find alternative routes if possible.
■ Slow down and be aware of side winds, particular care should be taken if you are towing or are a high sided vehicle.
■ Do not drive unless your journey is absolutely necessary.
After the storm:
■ Be careful not to touch any electrical/telephone cables that have been blown down or are still hanging.
■ Do not walk too close to walls, buildings and trees as they could have been weakened by the storm.
■ Make sure that any vulnerable neighbours or relatives are safe and help them make arrangements for any repairs to their property.
At about 5.45am on the A1066 at Shadwell there was serious crash in which a car went into a telegraph pole.
Just after midnight there was a collision involving a Peugeot in Haveringland Road, Felthorpe. Nobody was thought to have been injured.
At about 6.10am at Westgate Street, in Hilborough, a car went into a hedge. Nobody was thought to have been injured.
The police spokesman added: “The general advice is be aware of the weather forecast and drive appropriately.”
A spokesman for Suffolk police said there had been “nothing major” for the Lowestoft area this morning.
“The nearest trees down were at Blythburgh and Henstead – and these are now all cleared,” the police spokesman added.
Police reiterated their warnings to locals, with the peak of the storm expected about 8am.
There are major delays expected to Monday morning travel with all the main rail operators suspending services until at least 9am, but Greater Anglia announcing this morning that services would not resume until noon at the earliest.
Managers at Greater Anglia said the decision to stop rush hour services was taken on Sunday afternoon after discussions with Network Rail bosses.
A spokesman for Greater Anglia said: “High winds are affecting areas across our network this morning and we expect these to continue to affect our network over the coming hours. We are currently checking all routes and have received initial reports of damage to overhead wires at various locations.
“From noon we will look to run a reduced service on all lines but we expect there to be significant disruption to services when they resume and throughout the day.
“Customers with Greater Anglia tickets dated for travel on Monday 28 October can travel on Tuesday 29 October.”
Passengers with Greater Anglia tickets for today will be able to use them tomorrow.”
In a statement, First Capital Connect, which runs services out of King’s Lynn, said: “In the interests of safety, Network Rail have advised us not to operate any trains on our network from midnight on Sunday until it is safe to do so, which is unlikely to be until after 9am on Monday morning. This measure will allow us to ensure that nothing is blocking the railway. Once trains resume, we will be operating a revised timetable with far fewer services and with extended journey times.”
Meanwhile, Konect Bus said on Twitter: “Konectbus and AnglianBus will aim to operate a normal service today. Some routes may have reduced capacity where a double decker has been substituted for a single decker. Passengers can receive the latest service updates via our Twitter pages.”
Norwich International Airport is currently unaffected by the storms but bosses at Stansted Airport are advising people to check their flights before travel to find out if they are disrupted.
Have you been affected by the storms? Contact the newsdesk on 01603 7772443 or email firstname.lastname@example.org