Power cuts, trees torn down and historic ferry damaged as storm batters region


Clear-up operations are continuing throughout the weekend as wild weather batters the East of England.

Torrential rain led to flooding in some parts while high winds tore hundreds of trees down and caused power cuts, with Norfolk particularly badly hit.

Winds gusted to nearly 70 mph at Weybourne on the north Norfolk coast.

On the Essex coast, the historic Harwich Harbour foot ferry sank in the storm.

The boat, which has linked Essex and Suffolk since 1912, got into trouble yesterday afternoon.

The Harwich Haven Authority said the severity of the weather meant it was too dangerous to try and recover the ferry until this morning (Sept 26).

A marine support crew has now towed it to a safer mooring but the ferry has sustained "significant damage".

Its owners said they didn't yet know if the boat could be repaired - but were hopeful of saving a service treasured by the community.

We are shocked and worried about losing our livelihood.

Owners, Harwich Harbour Ferry
A tree is blown down across the road at Caistor St Edmund near Norwich

Across the region, emergency services worked together to try and clear routes blocked by fallen trees.

At Syderstone, near Fakenham, several trees came down - leaving one driver stuck underneath.

UK Power Networks said engineers were "working as quickly as is safely possible to repair power lines damages by sustained high winds, particularly across the Norwich area".

Some homes were left without power overnight and by lunchtime today there were still more than 6,000 properties cut off.

A spokesman said: "We understand how difficult it is to be without electricity, and prepared for the weather with extra field staff and call takers working.""If you see an overhead line down, please keep people well clear and call our emergency power cut helpline on 105."

In north Norfolk, gusts blew large amounts of sand onto coastal roads.

Sand blown onto coastal roads in Walcott, Norfolk. Credit: Sarah Landimore

Residents in Walcott said there was so much sand swept off the beach that key routes had been turned into "dirt tracks".

Some places recorded the equivalent of six weeks' worth of rain in the space of 48 hours with 75 mm (3 inches) of rainfall at Houghton and Weybourne in Norfolk.

Weybourne recorded the joint highest wind gust in the UK on Friday when the wind speed hit 67 mph. The highest gust there on Saturday was 61 mph.