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UPDATED: High winds cause transport and power problems across the east

Strong winds
Strong winds

High winds have caused transport and power problems across East Anglia and southern England today.

The A14 Orwell Bridge was closed early this morning and did not reopen until lunchtime when the strength of the wind had died down.

Suffolk Police say there were many roads blocked by fallen trees all over the county and urge caution when driving on country roads. They, the Met Office and Highways England warned drivers of ‘vulnerable vehicles’ such as high sided ones, caravans and motorbikes to stay off the road until Storm Katie passed this afternoon. Highways England’s live traffic information is at www.highways.gov.uk/traffic-information

A Suffolk Police spokesman urged drivers: “Don’t go out if you don’t really need to – stay indoors and eat Easter eggs.”

Greater Anglia trains warned of widespread disruption due to damage to overhead cables across the region and asked people to check before travelling. This eased with the wind but delayes are still reported on the Cambridge to Norwich line, via Thetford, because of a signalling fault at Shiipea Hill, between Ely and Lakenheath.

Its live journey information is at www.journeycheck.com/greateranglia

UK Power Networks says it has extra call handlers and engineers on duty to cope with power cuts, though many have been dealt with remotely. Essex and Kent were hardest hit but there were many Suffolk postcodes on their power cut list by mid morning.

As winds dropped, its engineers got to work but this evening there were still many power cuts across its region on which the switch back on time is to be confirmed, including IP28 6,IP29 5,IP31 3, IP19 8, IP14 2 and IP12 2.

Check your postcode on the power cut list at UKPN’s website

The Met Office had yesterday issued a yellow ‘be aware’ warning of high winds in East Anglia valid from 1.15am this morning until 3pm this afternoon.

It warned of gusts of up to 70mph along the south coast, though one of 106mph was recorded on the Isle of Wight this morning. It says the wind should ease in East Anglia ‘by mid afternoon’. By 5.30pm there were no more weather warnings in force for the UK.

The latest weather warnings are at www.metoffice.gov.uk

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