Update: Hundreds of Norfolk and Suffolk homes still without power; Greater Anglia running hourly service between London and Norwich; police called to 90 highway obstructions in 12 hours; more storm damage stories emerge

Storm damage in Stepshort, near Belton, where fallen trees have pulled apart a pavement Storm damage in Stepshort, near Belton, where fallen trees have pulled apart a pavement

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
1:05 PM

More than 700 homes in both Norfolk and Suffolk remain without power after strong winds and rain lashed the region overnight.

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Joggers make their way through the flooded road near Buxton.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYJoggers make their way through the flooded road near Buxton. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

By 1pm, UK Power Networks said it had reconnected 2,450 Norfolk homes which were earlier without electricity, and said it aimed to buy Christmas dinners for anyone still without power tomorrow, Christmas Day.

A company spokesman said: “Of the incidents that are known about in the East of England, engineers are aiming to restore the vast majority of supplies by tonight. In the South East, which was hit harder, engineers are tackling the incidents which affect high numbers of customers first, but if your power is still off at midnight it’s likely you will be off on Christmas Day so you should consider making contingency plans now.

“Wherever possible, UK Power Networks is planning to buy Christmas dinners for households if they are still without supply tomorrow. It is appealing for any restaurants or pubs in the East of England and South East who have spare tables on Christmas Day, to email SDCSupportContact@ukpowernetworks.co.uk or call 0800 028 0959.”

The number of homes without power in Suffolk fell from 3,380 to 780, while those without power in Cambridgeshire fell from 1,590 to 160.

Wind damaged bungalow in The Street, Ashwellthorpe. Photo: Bill SmithWind damaged bungalow in The Street, Ashwellthorpe. Photo: Bill Smith

Greater Anglia said it is now running an hourly service between London Liverpool Street and Norwich.

In a statement on its website, Greater Anglia said: “The Norwich to Liverpool Street service is currently hourly in both directions departing from Liverpool Street at 30 minutes past each hour calling at Stratford, Chelmsford, Colchester, Manningtree, Ipswich, Stowmarket, Diss and Norwich and departing from Norwich at 10:00 then hourly calling at Diss, Stowmarket, Ipswich, Manningtree, Colchester, Chelmsford, Stratford and Liverpool Street.”

East Midland Trains is operating its usual Christmas Eve schedule.

First Norwich buses said there were no weather-related disruptions in the Norwich or Great Yarmouth areas, and Norwich International Airport said its flights are unaffected this morning.

A driver makes their way through the flooded road near Buxton.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYA driver makes their way through the flooded road near Buxton. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Police said they were called to 90 highways obstructions between 7pm and 7am, but said there had been no reports of injuries, but advised drivers to check the weather before setting out, drive to conditions and be aware of falling debris and debris on the road.

Reports of damage around the region continued to emerge throughout the day.

Sam Markwell, 32, awoke on Tuesday morning to find a tree had been blown down by the high winds on to his car.

Mr Markwell, who runs Sam Markwell Photography in Cotmer Road, Oulton Broad, took a picture of the devastation with his iPhone.

A tree fell on Sam Markwell's car outside his home in Cotmer Road, Oulton Broad. It was blown down by the high winds on December 23/24. Photo: Sam Markwell PhotographyA tree fell on Sam Markwell's car outside his home in Cotmer Road, Oulton Broad. It was blown down by the high winds on December 23/24. Photo: Sam Markwell Photography

He said: “The whole bonnet and the roof were caved in but it still started fine. I have been out there with the chainsaw and spent the morning pulling branches off the car.”

In Stepshort near Belton, the wind brought down a row of conifer trees during the night.

The weight of the trees pushed over metal railings, causing serious damage to a pavement and exposing gas pipes. Norfolk County Council engineers were called and cordoned off the area this morning until work is carried out to repair the footpath.

Properties in Bodham, between Cromer and Sheringham, were affected by a power cut late last night but the electricity supply was restored this morning.

Tim Merritt, landlord of the Red Hart Inn, said the power failure happened after customers left the pub and it had not affected business.

In Kessingland, a tree fell onto a delivery van and brought down telephone cable in Church Road at about 7.25pm on Monday. No one was injured.

The high winds, which reached speeds of up to 53mph in some parts of Suffolk, also saw a tree brought down in Mutfordwood Lane in Carlton Colville and traffic lights damaged in Pier Terrace, Lowestoft.

In Suffolk dozens of trees were reported to have been brought down by the strong winds.

A Suffolk Highways spokesman said: “Engineers are responding to over 100 storm related reports which have come into The Hub at Suffolk Highways offices this morning.

“Suffolk Highways are working to clear the roads as quickly and safely as possible, and are prioritising the main routes which have been obstructed.”

Firefighters were called out to numerous incidents around the region, including arcing cables in West Somerton at 12.55am, helping police with a dangerous structure in Norwich city centre at 1am, a collapsed wall in Thetford at 2.19am and cables arcing in Hemsby at 3.36am.

The high winds also caused a chimney to collapse onto the front lawn of a bungalow at Ashwellthorpe.

During the night, the A12 Breydon Bridge near Great Yarmouth was closed, as was the A1064 in Fleggburgh because of a fallen tree and fallen power cables, but both have since reopened.

The Reedham Ferry was suspended because of the adverse weather, but reopened this morning.

Were you affected by the storm? Do you have photos of any damage? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk or comment below.

7 comments

  • And notice, Norfolk John, how a bit of standing water in a dip in the road becomes a " flood". The editor's New Year Resolution should be to rein in his wet hens and bunny huggers before all his older readers desert the paper and he fails to attract replacements. I have had three people tell me in the last few days that they have stopped taking the EDP because it is annoyingly ignorant at times, padded out with irrelevances, a shadow of its former self and no longer worth what it costs.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

  • It was terrible! I even witnessed a cat whipped up into the sky during the storm, and you know what? The damn creature didn't seem to care - it just seemed, well, kinda nonchalant!

    Report this comment

    Bobby Stranger

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

  • over 10.000 homes left without electricity over Christmas, more storms on the way, the reality of more intense and chaotic weather patterns are stark. What do our MP's do? They postpone a debate on storm relief because they saw sharing the limelight of Mandela's death as more important to talking about what Britain needs, a national coastal and flood protection policy. Insurance companies should not plan to raise our contributions, but become pro active in their response to Government inactivity, why should we cough up for party politicians negligence?

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, December 30, 2013

  • Must have known it had 8 lives to spare...

    Report this comment

    Surrey Canary

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

  • For goodness sake - Yes, it was a bit windy and a little wet but certainly not worth all this news space and boarderline panic!

    Report this comment

    Norfolk John

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

  • Yes I know. It took my son 10+hrs to get to Norwich from Bath - just to see his aged parents tomorrow!

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

  • Actually Bobby, this phenomena is more common than people realise, and occasionally, it even happens to dogs, hence the phrase 'its raining cats and dogs'

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

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