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Odds shorten on a Norfolk white Christmas

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:39 06 July 2010

Kim Briscoe

The odds have shortened on a white Christmas with forecasters predicting a 50/50 chance for north Norfolk.

But the festive cheer comes as two of the county's accident and emergency departments reported a rise in people needing treatment for sprains as the big freeze continued and icy pavements took their toll on shoppers at the weekend.

Kim Briscoe

The odds have shortened on a white Christmas with forecasters predicting a 50/50 chance for north Norfolk.

But the festive cheer comes as two of the county's accident and emergency departments reported a rise in people needing treatment for sprains as the big freeze continued and icy pavements took their toll on shoppers at the weekend.

The A&E department at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the minor injuries unit at Cromer Hospital said they had not seen an overall rise in their numbers of patients, however the proportion of people attending as a result of falls was up over the weekend.

A spokesman for the NNUH said: “Typically those attendances involved injuries to wrists, back, arms or hips. Given the weather and the road and pavement conditions it may well be that people are not venturing out as much as normal.”

A spokesman for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King's Lynn, said 30 people were treated in A&E over the weekend after slipping and falling on the ice, with most suffering sprains or fractures.

And the county could see more snow over the next few days according to Steve Western, duty forecaster at the University of East Anglia-based Weatherquest.

He said: “On Tuesday there will be a bit of early sleet to clear away first thing. Once that's gone much of the day will be reasonably fine and dry, but staying cold.

“Wednesday starts off mostly dry and bright but clouds are expected to bring more sleet and snow later on in the day.”

He added: “I would think it's about 50/50 on a white Christmas for north Norfolk. In south west Norfolk, moving down to Thetford, Mildenhall, Lakenheath, Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds it is much less likely to snow on Christmas day.”

The bad road conditions led to difficulties yesterday for shoppers trying to get out of the car park of the Tesco store in Dereham. One motorist, Chris Patterson, said the car park around 1pm was gridlocked and no vehicles had moved for an hour.

A spokesman for the company told the EDP that the congestion was caused by heavy traffic in the town centre which was being impacted by the poor weather conditions.

The frosty weather also caused havoc for Anglian Water engineers called out after a water main burst on Friday night in Chamberlin Road, Norwich.

A spokeswoman for the company said its engineers were on scene at 2am Saturday morning and managed to fix the leak late on Saturday.

Residents at Ainsworth Court sheltered flats in North Walsham had to dig cars out of the snow in their clogged car park on Sunday.

Mrs Irene Wakefield, who lives in the complex in Grove Lane, said: "It took someone 40 minutes to dig himself out. If I wanted my car in an emergency no way could I get it.”

The Christmas in a Barn concert at Wickmere, near Aylsham, has been cancelled because of the weather. The event, due to take place tonight, was to feature the Fakenham Brass Band and raise money for the parish church.


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