April 20 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Transport latest: Travel disruption as fallen trees block roads and train lines
Heavy rain lashed East Anglia and strong winds of up to 60mph hit the region last night with a Met Office amber alert in place until 10am today.
Train services are getting back to normal after earlier disruption.
The line between Norwich and Lowestoft is now running again as usual, after a fallen tree at Somerleyton was cleared.
The services between Norwich and Ely, and Thetford and Lakenheath have also resumed. Passengers had been warned by Greater Anglia trains may be cancelled, delayed or revised at short notice because of fallen trees on both lines, but normal timetables services resumed from 9.30am.
The A47 was closed, but has now reopened, in both directions between the A1065 (Swaffham) and the A1075 (Dereham) due to fallen trees blocking the carriageway. The exact location of the closure was between Dereham and Wendling.
The A1067 at Guist is also closed due to fallen tree.
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Forecasters in Norwich said the weather was set to be more settled next week.
Chris Bell, forecaster from the University of East Anglia-based Weatherquest, said there were no forecasts of any storms coming from the Atlantic next week.
“That is the end of the stormy weather and there does not look to be any deep lows with strong gusts. It is still going to be a bit unsettled with rain on Monday afternoon and another front on Thursday into Friday. There is no suggestion of any heavy rain or windy conditions,” he said.
A fallen tree blocked the railway line between Norwich and Lowestoft at Reedham at about 9pm last night, which suspended services.
Officials from Greater Anglia urged passengers to complete their journeys as quickly as possible last night. However, a spokesman said they planned to run normal weekend services as long as the overnight storms had not brought down trees and power lines. Passengers are advised to check whether services are running before leaving home today.
Bus companies also warned that routes could be changed or cancelled as a result of the weather.
A spokesman for First Buses said: “Passengers should expect delays to all services due to the weather. Our local teams are monitoring each route and they will decide if services need to be cut. We will be updating our website and Twitter if services are too dangerous to run.”
The Orwell Bridge in Ipswich was closed last night with wind gusts of up to 80mph predicted.
Chief Insp Chris Spinks, of the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit, added: “Motorists should take extra care when venturing out, as there is the possibility of debris on the road, as well as standing water caused by heavy rain.”
Motorists are advised to reduce their speed and leave greater distances between themselves and the vehicle in front.
The Met Office offer the following advice for how to deal with very strong winds.
Before the storm
Secure loose objects such as ladders, garden furniture or anything else that could be blown into windows and other glazing and break them.
Close and securely fasten doors and windows, particularly those on the windward side of the house, and especially large doors such as those on garages.
Park vehicles in a garage, if available; otherwise keep them clear of buildings, trees, walls and fences.
Close and secure loft trapdoors with bolts, particularly if roof pitch is less than 30°.
If the house is fitted with storm shutters over the windows then ensure that these are closed and fastened.
If chimney stacks are tall and in poor condition, move beds away from areas directly below them.
During the storm
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 - if these structures fail, they will collapse on this side.
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 really 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.
Make sure that any vulnerable neighbours or relatives are safe and help them make arrangements for any repairs.