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Winds gusting at more than 80mph in the Anglia region

A tree down on the road to Trowse near Norwich. Credit: Aisling Creevey

Wind speeds have topped 80 mph in the Anglia region on Thursday morning as an Atlantic storm powers through.

A gust of 83 mh was reported at Tibenham in south Norfolk as vehicles and trees were blown over and trains disrupted by obstructions on the rail lines. A gust of 74 mph was recorded at Wittering in Cambridgeshire.

There are long delays on the East coast mainline because of an obstruction at Stevenage and speed restrictions. And there delays on other rail lines.

There are no trains between Norwich and London on Greater Anglia because of damage to overhead lines at Stowmarket and the service is suspended between Marks Tey in Essex and Sudbury in Suffolk due to a fallen tree.

Thousands of homes are without power.

Norfolk Police say they dealt with 300 emergency calls between 5am and 7am which is the usual daily total.

Dozens of roads across the area are blocked by fallen trees.

Highest wind gusts in the Anglia region on Thursday morning

  • 83 mph at Tibenham, Norfolk
  • 74 mph at Wittering, Cambridgeshire
  • 70 mph at Weybourne, Norfolk
  • 68 mph at Holbeach, Lincolnshire
  • 67 mph at Bedford
  • 66 mph at Andrewsfield near Braintree, Essex
  • 66 mph at Marham, Norfolk

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Lucky escape for driver after car submerged in water

Driver has a lucky escape from Shotesham Ford Credit: Twitter/South Norfolk Police

A driver had a lucky escape today after getting into difficulty in Shotesham Ford in Norfolk.

Police were called to the Ford and found the car submerged in 2ft of water after Storm Eleanor swept through the region.

South Norfolk Police posted the photo on social media urging people not to risk trying to drive through water which could have hidden drops.

The Ford is currently closed due to the high water levels and is expected to remain closed until water levels fall.

Police are asking drivers to take alternative routes and follow road closures.

Weather warnings continue as emergency services deal with consequences of Storm Eleanor

Essex Fire Service say they have had to deal with a number of incidents as a result of Storm Eleanor.

They went to 15 incidents caused by high winds, mostly fallen trees, but also fallen electricity poles and pylons and a shed roof that had blown onto a car.

Meanwhile Southend Borough Council have said the town’s pier will remain closed until further notice. The Orwell Bridge in Suffolk is also still shut.

The Environment Agency has issued safety advice for anyone on the coast, and are posting regular updates on floods and warnings.

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Orwell Bridge to close as strong winds set to hit Suffolk

Highways England will reopen the bridge without delay as soon as it is safe to do so Credit: PA

The Orwell Bridge in Suffolk will close this evening (2 January) due to high winds.

The bridge will be shut from 9pm tonight (Tuesday 2 January). It is expected to remain closed through tomorrow’s (Wednesday 3 January) peak morning travel time.

Highways England will continue to monitor wind speeds closely before making a decision about when to reopen the bridge, based on the safety of road users.

Once the Orwell Bridge is closed, the planned diversion route is via the A1156, A1189 and A1214 through Ipswich.

‎Drivers planning to travel are encouraged to plan their journey in advance and check the latest weather and traffic conditions along the route. ‎
‎Drivers making journeys across the Eastern region should be aware of sudden gusts of wind, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space.

Cold weather prompts health alert

Health officials in Cambridgeshire have triggered a cold weather alert - warning people to make sure vulnerable and elderly friends and family stay warm.

The level 3 alert will be in place until Saturday.

Cold weather prompts alert Credit: ITV Anglia

Severe cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young or very old or those with chronic illnesses.

The Public Health team at Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council are recommending some simple measures to help people stay warm and well during the cold weather.

"It is vital that during this period of cold weather, people act to keep themselves and their home warm. Cold weather increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, lung illnesses, flu and other diseases and people slip and fall in the snow or ice, sometimes suffering serious injuries. Some groups, such as older people, very young children, and people with serious medical conditions are particularly vulnerable to the effects of cold weather. To keep warm, wear several layers of clothes rather than just one thick layer, and when you need to go outside wear shoes with slip resistant, good grip soles. If indoors, keep your heating to the right temperature as heating your home to at least 18°C in winter poses minimal risk to your health when you are wearing suitable clothing.

– Val Thomas, Public Health Consultant

Cambridgeshire's health team has also issued the following advice:

  • It is important to keep warm in winter - both inside and outdoors as it can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes pneumonia and depression. Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F), if you can, you might prefer your living room to be slightly warmer.
  • Use your electric blanket as instructed and get it tested every three years. Never use a hot water bottle with an electric blanket
  • Food is a vital source of energy and helps to keep your body warm so have plenty of hot food and drinks
  • Aim to include five daily portions of fruit and vegetables. Tinned and frozen vegetables count toward your five a day
  • Stock up on tinned and frozen foods so you don’t have to go out too much when it’s cold or icy
  • Exercise is good for you all year round and it can keep you warm in winter
  • If possible, try to move around at least once an hour. But remember to speak to your GP before starting any exercise plans
  • Wear lots of thin layers - clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres are particularly good and maintain body heat
  • Wear good-fitting slippers with a good grip indoors and shoes with a good grip outside to prevent trips, slips and falls
  • Make sure you have spare medication in case you are unable to go out
  • Check if you are eligible for inclusion on the priority services register operated by your water and power supplier.

Man rescued after his car gets stuck in freezing water

Just a foot or two of water is enough to float a car and six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars. Credit: Essex Fire & Rescue

Firefighters were called to help a driver who was trapped in his car in Chelmsford.

Crews from Essex Fire and Rescue arrived at Buttsbury Wash to find his car trapped in 3ft of freezing cold water.

The man was freezing cold and was suffering from shock and possibly hypothermia.

Firefighters waded into the flood waters and rescued the man using an inflatable sledge.

Station Manager Martyn Hare said: "When we arrived, the motorist was still in his car and water had started to fill the footwells."

"It is extremely dangerous for anyone to attempt to drive into flood water without knowing how deep the water is, especially on a morning where temperatures had plummeted to -4."

Every year the fire service rescues dozens of motorists who find themselves trapped after driving into flood water.

The fire service is warning motorists not to drive through flood waters which will reach more than half of their car wheels.

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