The Met Office have issued an Amber Warning of Wind, valid from 00:05 on Tue, 24th Dec 2013 until 06:00 on Tue, 24th Dec 2013.
“Southwesterly gales and locally severe gales will continue across southern and eastern parts of England during Monday night, but are expected to strengthen further across parts of southeast England, including SUFFOLK, in the Amber warning area, during the early hours of Tuesday, with gusts of 65-75 mph inland and 75-85 mph along exposed eastern coasts. The winds will ease from the west by morning.”
Note – Friday 27th sees return of gales and rain.
Heavy rain is anticipated although it is considered that this will only have the potential for localised surface water flooding with up to 20-25mm of rain across the county. There may be other incidents of flooding in areas susceptible to flooding from fast reacting rivers – Rattlesden, Stowmarket and possibly to Needham Market.
Widespread messages are being circulated to the public through the media – that “ the Public should be prepared for disruption, particularly to travel and for interruptions to power supplies.”
Road: The Highways Agency has closed the QEII Bridge at Dartford until further notice with traffic being diverted through the tunnels. It is anticipated that the Orwell Bridge will be closed later this evening- based upon the wind limits, but hopefully after this evening’s homeward commute to ease congestion problems in Ipswich.
Suffolk Highways are activating their Highways Hub overnight to deal with expected road disruption. However, crews will not carry out chainsaw clearances during darkness hours, but will make situations safe and put diversions in place. Additional crews will commence shifts earlier tomorrow morning.
Rail: Anglia Rail tell us 50 mph speed restriction will be imposed across the Route network from 6pm this evening until first thing tomorrow morning. As a consequence there will be some cancellations and alterations to services.
Services in Anglia are not expected to resume until after 10am tomorrow morning, to be in position to clear the debris, etc. and also allow for “route proving trains” to check the lines before re-opened to services. If possible they will restore services before 10am but the advice to the public is not to look to travel tomorrow until after 1000 hrs.
It is anticipated that there will be power outages, especially along the coast. UK Power Networks have initiated their emergency procedures.
Warnings are being sent regarding open areas, public spaces and parks and Right of Way regarding the hazards.
There may be loss of power affecting care homes and vulnerable people
Probable closure of Port of Felixstowe, and increased congestion if Orwell Bridge closed.