Warning to drivers as heavy rain and strong winds in Norfolk and Suffolk bring down trees

Drivers have been urged to take extra care after heavy rain. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Drivers have been urged to take extra care after heavy rain. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Drivers in Norfolk and Suffolk have been urged to take extra care this morning, amid heavy wind and rain.

The Environment Agency issued a string of flood warnings and flood alerts last night, including on the River Bure and Spixworth Beck.

The Met Office last night issued severe weather alerts for parts of the north east and south east of England as Storm Angus continued to cause problems.

People in Norfolk and Suffolk woke to rain and blustery weather, although the Met Office said winds will ease as the day goes on.

The wind brought down trees on the A140 at Hainford - which was spotted by an ambulance crew at about 4am and on Silver Street in Besthorpe.

The 40ft tree which came down in Besthorpe, reported at 5.40am crashed into electrical cables, a BT wire and a 30mph sign. UK Power Networks are at the scene.

The Orwell Bridge on the A14 in Suffolk was shut in the early hours because of the windy weather.

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Highways England urged drivers to check road conditions and the weather forecast before setting out and to drive with additional care.

The Met Office offered the following advice for driving in rain and wind:

• If heavy downpours are expected, avoid starting your journey until it clears.

• If you can, choose main roads, where you are less likely to be exposed to fallen branches and debris and flooding.

• Use dipped headlights if visibility is significantly reduced.

• Gusts of wind can unsettle vehicles – grip your steering wheel firmly with both hands. This is particularly important when planning to overtake.

• Keep an eye out for gaps between trees, buildings or bridges over a river or railway – these are some of the places you are more likely to be exposed to side winds. Ensure that you maintain enough room either side of your vehicle so you can account for it being blown sideways.

• Roads will be more slippery than usual in wet weather – be sure to give yourself more time to react when approaching a hazard. Increase your following gap to at least four seconds from the moving traffic in front.

• Keep your eyes peeled on the road at all times as spray from other vehicles can suddenly reduce your visibility. Remember it affects others too, so anticipate their actions and be prepared.

• On flooded roads, think before driving through deep water; don't stop in standing water, and drive through the highest section of the road slowly. If there is any doubt don't enter it.

• Once you have managed to drive through check your brakes and dry them out as quickly as possible – a light touch of the brakes whilst still moving should do the trick.

• Remember to give vulnerable road users including cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians more room than usual. They are more likely to be blown around by side winds – always keep a safe distance.

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