People urged not to travel on Christmas Eve as Norfolk hit by major flooding

Flooding in Kenninghall on Wednesday, December 23. Picture: Lottie Thurgar

Flooding in Kenninghall on Wednesday, December 23. Picture: Lottie Thurgar - Credit: Lottie Thurgar

People in Norfolk are today being urged not to travel unless its essential after firefighters took more than 300 calls relating to flooding in just 12 hours.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service are still dealing with a number of incidents across the county with South Norfolk particularly badly affected by flooding.

At its height more than 50 fire engines were deployed to various incidents across the county

The A11 is closed at the A1075 junction at Thetford while the A140 at Long Stratton is just about passable after being flooded.

Man stands with ruined Christmas crackers after flooding damaged house

Flooding has damaged homes across Norfolk. - Credit: Charlotte Taylor

Meanwhile the A47 is closed between Easton and the Honingham/Mattishall roundabout due to flooding 

Norfolk Police are urging people to only travel if absolutely necessary with many roads across the county still flooded and a number of cars stranded.

Flooding has caused a major incident in Norfolk.

Flooding has caused a major incident in Norfolk. - Credit: Submitted

On the trains, services between Diss and Norwich have been delayed or cancelled - with the Norwich to London line affected - as all lines are blocked due to flooding while services between Great Yarmouth and Norwich are also affected due to flooding at Acle.

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Greater Anglia have said the lines between Norwich and Yarmouth are now open after flood water receded, but services are now running.

Tim Edwards, assistant chief fire officer at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said a major incident was declared at about 11pm last night due to the sheer number of incidents they had been called to.

He said they "don't declare them (major incidents) very often" but had to due to the number of calls coming into the service.

Flooding has caused a major incident across Norfolk.

Flooding has caused a major incident across Norfolk. - Credit: Submitted

Mr Edwards said the calls they received were "two-fold", relating to "water entering buildings" where  they prioritised those at risk and "people who were driving through flood water and unfortunately got stuck".

He said Norfolk crews were out "most of the evening" dealing with calls which started to come in yesterday afternoon but peaked at around 11pm last night.

Mr Edwards praised crews who worked "incredibly hard" overnight and said firefighters were still dealing with "a small number of flooding incidents around the county".

He said even firefighters struggled to get through some areas and warned people not to enter flood water as it was "difficult to know the exact depth".

Flooding has caused a major incident across Norfolk.

Flooding has caused a major incident across Norfolk. - Credit: Submitted

The torrential rain resulted in more than 100 flood warning being issued across the country, including at the River Tiffey from Wymondham to Barford in Norfolk and the River Waveney from Bungay to Ellingham and Diss to Bungay.

There are also more than 160 flood alerts across the country, including the River Tud and River Wensum, from Fakenham to Costessey; River Yare from Thorpe St Andrew to Breydon Water; River Bure, Spixworth Beck and surrounding Becks and Little Ouse and River Thet in Norfolk and Suffolk.

In Norwich, a tree on Lakenham Way has come down following heavy rain making life difficult for walkers, runners and cyclists who use the path.

A cyclist trying to navigate a fallen tree on Lakenham Way, Norwich.

A cyclist trying to navigate a fallen tree on Lakenham Way, Norwich. - Credit: Peter Walsh, Archant Norfolk

Long Stratton was was particularly badly hit, with video captured by staff at the Netherton Steakhouse showing cars having to crawl through standing water on the A140.

Police also said there was flooding on the same road at Pulham Market, while the conditions had also led to a car going into a hedge further south on the A140 at Dickleburgh.

A three-car crash on the A11 at Spooner Row near Wymondham saw one southbound lane closed while the vehicles were recovered.

Heavy flooding also closed New Road and Mill Road in Belton, while the torrential rain was causing delays on the A143 near Scole and the A146 between Loddon and Gillingham.

Konectbuses said there is major disruption this morning and passengers were told to expect severe delays to all services, particularly routes 1, 4, 3, 6, 8, 11, 84.

In an update on Twitter, Norfolk Police said: "We are continuing to deal with flooding on roads across the county, working alongside @highwaysEAST and @Norfolkfire where required.

"Slow down, drive to the conditions, do you know how deep the floodwater is?"

More than 600 people in  areas such as Norwich, Hethersett and Wroxham had been without power yesterday and UK Power Networks engineers are still working on issues in a number of areas including Caister, Taverham/Drayton and Wroxham.

Dan Holley, of Norwich-based Weatherquest, warned that, despite the level of disruption already caused, there was "several more hours of rain to come".

He added: "Since midnight, Tibenham Airfield has recorded 33mm, this falling on already saturated ground."

There are flood alerts in place on the tidal River Yare from Thorpe St Andrew to Breydon Water, the River Waveney from Diss and the River Dove to Ellingham, including Bungay, as well as at the Welney Causeway near Downham Market.

In Suffolk, there is a more serious flood warning in place for the Chediston watercourse at Halesworth.

In a statement on their website, Anglian Water said: "Due to the wet weather we are currently helping a lot of customers.

"Our top priority is to prevent flooding to people's homes, and we will deal with those issues first. Because of that, it may take us a little longer than usual to deal with problems affecting wastewater systems and sewers, but please rest assured we will help all customers as soon as we can.

"Some of the problems we are dealing with are caused by the huge amount of rain that has fallen recently, meaning the ground is already saturated and a lot of flood water is getting into our sewers. This means water doesn't drain away as quickly as it usually would.

"These problems often fix themselves, though, when the rain stops."

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