Storm Eunice leads to cancellations and closures across the East of England

Stansted Airport said it would leave flight decisions to individual airlines.
Stansted Airport said it would leave flight decisions to individual airlines.

The East of England is bracing itself for the arrival of Storm Eunice, with cancellations and closures already being announced across the region.

The storm is expected to bring widespread disruption to the region from the early hours of Friday morning, and with wind speeds of more than 80mph anticipated some events have already been called off.

Stansted Airport is planning to remain open, although bosses are warning that airlines might adjust their schedules because of the weather.

A spokesperson said: "We are obviously keeping a close eye on the forecast but we intend to be fully operational. It is more the wind direction than its speed that can be an issue. In general though, we tend to be okay due to our runway's south-westerly direction.

"It is up to the airlines to decide whether to adjust their schedules in response to severe weather. However,  if there is any doubt, passengers should check with their airline."

The red and amber weather warning areas for Storm Eunice on Friday 18 February 2022 Credit: Met Office

Elsewhere, Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge has cancelled its drive-through blood testing service at the city's Newmarket Road park and ride.

The service, which is based in marquees, will be closed in the interests of public safety, said the hospital.

The drive-in blood centre at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge Credit: Addenbrooke's Hospital

Racing at Fakenham in Norfolk is the first big sporting event to be called off with Friday's card abandoned as a safety measure.

Other events that have been cancelled already include Friday's Norwich Love Light celebrations, although some activities will be moved indoors. The events on Thursday and Saturday will go ahead as planned.

In Cambridgeshire, Fenland Council has called off the last two Love Food? Love This! events in Chatteris and Whittlesey, which were due to be held on Thursday and Friday respectively.

Colchester Market has also been called off. And the Royal Estate at Sandringham in Norfolk along with the RHS Gardens at Hyde Hall in Chelmsford will remain closed as well.

Severe disruption is expected on rail networks. East Midlands Railways is asking passengers not to travel as it predicts problems across the whole of its network.

A Greater Anglia train Credit: ITV Anglia

Greater Anglia is also warning it expects problems and wlll be operating a reduced timetable with reduced train speeds as well. Passengers are advised not to travel unless it is an essential journey.

The main concern is debris from trees blocking lines and taking time to clear, said the operator.

On the roads, Highways England said the Orwell Bridge near Ipswich would close from 4am Friday because of high winds, and was expected to remain closed for the rest of the day.

It also advised drivers in general to take extra care and avoid all but essential journeys.

UK Power Networks said they had 100 teams ready to respond to any power cuts caused by Storm Eunice moving across the region.

"Extra engineers, damage assessment teams, and call centre staff are ready to respond around the clock. Thanks to remote control technology, engineers will be able to fix some power cuts quickly without visiting damage sites.

UK Power Networks control room in Ipswich, Suffolk. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Teams will be able to climb poles to repair overhead power lines as soon as the winds subside to a safe level.

We understand how difficult it is to be without electricity especially during cold weather, and will be working to restore supplies as quickly as is safely possible. If you see any damaged power lines our advice is to stay away, keep everyone clear and call us on 105"