Update: Police warning to motorists as stormy weather returns to Suffolk
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Strong gale force winds and localised flooding are the dangers facing parts of Suffolk tonight (Friday).
And police are warning motorists to take care on roads in Suffolk ahead of the high winds, which are expected to affect the county this evening (Friday) and overnight into tomorrow morning (Saturday).
The Met Office has issued weather alerts for the county, both for heavy rain and wind, which will make driving conditions extremely difficult.
Earlier today, the Met Office escalated its warning to 'amber' for wind on the eastern side/coastal areas of the county from 6pm this evening until 10am tomorrow. A yellow warning for rain across the East of England also remains in place.
Chief Insp Chris Spinks, of the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit, said: 'Everyone should be aware of the potential for damaging and disruptive gusts of wind across the county later today and overnight.
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'In particular, motorists should take extra care when venturing out, as there is the possibility of debris on the road, as well as standing water caused by heavy rain.'
Motorists are advised to reduce their speed when driving in difficult weather conditions. They should also leave greater distances between themselves and the vehicle in front and allow extra time for their journeys.
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The Orwell Bridge in Ipswich will close tonight as severe weather in the region intensifies.
The Highways Agency said the bridge would be closing for safety reasons, as some forecasters have predicted wind gusts of up to 80mph.
The Orwell Bridge will close from 10pm tonight and will remain closed until the high winds subside, which is expected to be around 6am tomorrow.
A flood alert is in place for the River Waveney from Diss to Ellingham, including Bungay.
With exposed coastal areas likely to bear the brunt of the latest stormy weather, the strong winds are not expected to be with us until the early evening, when gusts could increase to 60mph and stay that way for several hours.
The highest winds are likely to be around at about 3am tomorrow with wind speeds about 30mph and gusting as high as 70mph in some places.
On the coast however it is likely to be worse – with gale force winds and gusts up to 80mph are possible.
Mr Western also said combined rainfall this afternoon and tonight could mean some places see almost an inch of rain.
A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: 'All of our frontline services, including highways, carers and the fire service, are ready to respond to the forecast bad weather this weekend.
'We will be monitoring the situation throughout the weekend and would encourage people to take care of themselves and vulnerable neighbours, travel safely and check the local media and weather forecasts for updates.'