Police warn motorists as Storm Barney brings strong winds to East Anglia

The storm called Barney rolls across the UK.

The storm called Barney rolls across the UK. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

Police are warning drivers to take care this evening as Storm Barney brings gusts of more than 60mph to Norfolk and Suffolk.

The storm called Barney rolls across the UK.

The storm called Barney rolls across the UK. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

The Norfolk police control room has been inundated with calls as gusts of more than 60mph brought down trees across the region.

Roads policing officers warned of one fallen tree blocking the B1150 at Horstead and urged people to drive to the conditions.

The A149 at Dersingham was blocked at around 11pm due to a fallen tree, with police on scene awaiting help from highways teams at the county council.

A falling tree took out power lines at the A10 at Setchey, blocking the road with police awaiting help from a utilities company.

The storm called Barney rolls across the UK.

The storm called Barney rolls across the UK. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

The fire service was called to Bowers Avenue in Earlham at around 9.45pm and fire fighters secured loose boards on scaffolding to make the structure safe.

Assistant chief constable Sarah Hamlin wrote: 'Be careful out there. Don't go out unless you really really have to please.'

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The Norfolk police account posted: 'Our control room is experiencing high levels of demand due to current weather conditions.

'We are prioritising emergency calls at this time.'

In a further post, the force revealed it had received a number of calls about highways obstructions and asked people to consider contacting Norfolk County Council's highways team to help clear them.

Gusts of 63mph were recorded at Lakenheath, and gusts of 52mph at Norwich Airport.

There were reports of power cuts in some parts of the region.

The Met Office has issued a yellow 'be aware' warning for strong winds in the region for between 4pm and 11.30pm today, due to forecasted 'west to south-westerly gales and locally severe gales'.

According to the Met Office, widespread gusts of 50-60mph are likely, and could reach up to 80mph in coastal areas.

Police are advising motorists to allow extra time for their journeys, reduce their speed, leave greater distances between themselves and the vehicle in front and be aware of the possibility of debris on the road.

High winds may also result in road closures and motorists are asked to be aware of the possibility of disruption around the time of the strongest predicted gusts between 10pm tonight and 12.30am on Wednesday morning.

Storm Barney is the second storm deemed strong enough to be given its own name this season.

AccuWeather meteorologists have said that around 25mm of rainfall is expected from Barney, but as much as 50mm may fall in some areas.

The Environment Agency and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) are also urging people not to be tempted to pose for 'storm selfies' which could put their lives in danger, particularly along the coastline, following a rise in this type of photograph during periods of extreme weather last year.