December 6 2013 Latest news:
Monday, October 28, 2013
The worst of the St Jude storm has now passed Norfolk but there will be blustery weather throughout the afternoon, forecasters have said.
The worst of the St Jude storm has now passed Norfolk but there will be blustery weather throughout the day, forecasters have said.
Chris Bell, a forecaster at UEA-based Weatherquest, said: “As far as the potential of damaging winds go, the worst of that is over but it is going to stay quite blustery and breezy through the afternoon.
“Across Norfolk we have missed out on the worst of the storm.
“The strongest gusts recorded in the county were 53mph at Weybourne in north Norfolk and 46mph at Marham.
“In Suffolk the strongest gusts were 76mph at Wattisham, and the highest recorded gusts in the region were 80mph in north Essex.”
He said while the weather was now brightening up, there was likely to be scattered showers during the day, with wind gusts of up to about 40 or 50mph.
“It will be breezy but the worst is over,” he said.
Since midnight Norfolk police have dealt with about 96 weather-related calls, including 36 between 8am and 9am, and 31 between 9am and 10am.
Many of the calls referred to trees or hedges down across roads, against property, on vehicles, against powers lines and on railway tracks. There were also been reports of power lines blown down, and surface water and debris in the road.
Police were also called to eight collisions on the county’s roads between midnight and about 11am, including a fatal crash on the A1066 at Shadwell at about 5.45am when a female driver died after a silver Saab collided with a telegraph pole.
By about 2.30pm today, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service had taken 14 weather-related calls, 12 were about fallen trees and two were about electrical cables which were both in Suffolk.
The first of the calls came in just after 8.30am, and firefighters dealt with fallen trees at; Bintree Road, Billingford; Norwich Road, Hethersett; Boundary Road, Raveningham; Beccles Road, Haddiscoe; Stoke Lane, Swainsthorpe; Norwich Road, Saxlingham Nethergate; Hempnall Road, Woodton.
The electrical cable incidents were at: Finningham Road, Botesdale; and Bury Road, Rickinghall.
By about midday Norfolk County Council’s highways team had cleared about 20 fallen trees from Norfolk’s roads.
A spokesman for Norfolk County Council’s highways department said: “Although winds were not as strong as expected we have continued to get calls about fallen trees and standing water. From 8am we have been dealing with 56 calls regarding trees, more so in the east and south of the county. In addition across the county we have attended to eight reports of surface flooding.”
Thousands of properties in the east were still without power this afternoon after the high winds in the St Jude storm caused extensive damage to power lines.
UK Power Networks engineers have restored power to 150,000 properties in the east of England and 100,000 in the south east, while latest figures show that there are still currently 150,000 in the east without power, and 30,000 properties in the south east.
As of 12.30pm today, among those currently without power were 2,500 properties in Norfolk and 46,000 properties in Suffolk.
A UK Power Networks spokesman said: “UK Power Networks has five times the normal number of engineers on duty (750 compared to 150 on a usual day) and many extra call advisors answering the phones.
“Engineers worked through the night and new crews are continuing today, moving from job to job to repair the damage and restore power as quickly as is safely possible. We are carrying out helicopter patrols to check overhead power lines.
“Customer service staff and volunteers from the British Red Cross, which works in partnership with UK Power Networks, will also be on site helping people in the worst affected areas.
“Since midnight, we have received about 38,000 calls so our lines are extremely busy.”
Meanwhile train services are continuing to be severely affected.
Greater Anglia has suspended all of its services for most of the day and advised people not to travel, but some services are now resuming.
A Greater Anglia spokesman said: “We have been working closely with Network Rail overnight and throughout the day to assess the damage caused across the network.”
The spokesman said there were still currently only a few Greater Anglia services running - these include trains between Norwich and Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, and Cambridge.
The company said people with tickets dated for today would be able to use them on services tomorrow.
First Capital Connect is also still advising people not to travel.
A spokesman for the company said: “Following last night’s storms, services of all rail operators including First Capital Connect are severely disrupted and currently suspended on many routes.
“The storm has led to fallen trees and damage to buildings and other structures, some of which are blocking the railway in a number of places. Network Rail are working to repair the damage, and will advise us as soon as it is safe to resume services. We are also unable to operate any replacement buses at this time.”
The operator is now operated some limited services, including between Cambridge and King’s Lynn.
Passengers who have purchased a ticket for travel today, may use it tomorrow or get a full refund from point of purchase.
A number of tourist attractions have also been affected by the weather.
Among them, Broads Tours has said it is cancelling scheduled river trips and dayboat operations today, but hopes to be back to normal tomorrow.
Oxburgh Hall closed its woodlands this morning as a precaution but the house and gardens were open.
Pensthorpe nature reserve is now open although the WildRootz area is extremely damp and will remain closed until it dries out.
• For more on Great Anglia services visit www.greateranglia.co.uk
• For First Capital Connect visit www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk
• To report a power cut or a damaged power line call UK Power Networks free helpline for the east of England 0800 783 8838 and see www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk for updates.