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Lowestoft escapes worst of wintry blast

PUBLISHED: 09:01 18 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:37 06 July 2010

SUFFOLK was in the grip of a Siberian blast of snow and ice today, with many parts of the region in chaos with roads closed and drivers stuck in their cars in places.

SUFFOLK was in the grip of a Siberian blast of snow and ice today, with many parts of the region in chaos with roads closed and drivers stuck in their cars in places.

With more than 240 snow incidents having been reported across the county, Lowestoft has seemingly escaped the worst of the conditions with only a light scattering.

Up to six inches of snow fell during the night in Suffolk - and despite a huge county-wide gripping operation, the volume of the falls, driven by high winds, left the emergency services at full stretch.

Many schools were closed - the last day of term before the Christmas break - but the Ashley School in Lowestoft is the only local casualty.

Highlights of incidents include:

· Drivers trapped as the A12 between Ipswich and Colchester was closed by black ice and snow

· Coaches stranded on the way home from the Co-op Juniors opening night at Snape Maltings - many people couldn't get there.

· Orwell Bridge towards Felixstowe closed after lorries couldn't get up the incline - police using tractors to get truckers pulled free.

· Five miles of east bound-traffic snaked back all the way to Claydon.

· Dozens of minor accidents around the county - a jack-knifed lorry at Copdock caused particular chaos.

· Suffolk Police reported 231 incidents since 8pm last night - thankfully non serious

· Essex Police reported 138 accidents in a few hours - including dozens of snow-balling incidents.

· Many cars went off roads and into ditches.

· The A14 was clear east of the Orwell Bridge towards the Port of Felixstowe - but operations were suspended and Operation Stack in place

· National Express reported 40 minute delays both ways on the main East Anglian line between London, Ipswich and Norwich.

· The Marks Tey to Sudbury rail line was closed by the snow

· Airports badly hit - Luton closed until further notice

After the first falls last night a severe weather warning was issued for more snow during the day.

Suffolk and Essex were two of many counties blitzed by the conditions with reports of severe difficulties from County Durham to Yorkshire and on down the eastern fringe and coastal counties all the way to Kent.


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