Homes without power and busy road closed as Storm Eunice hits

Gateway Retail Park Lowestoft road closure

A large sign at the entrance of Gateway Retail Park in south Lowestoft is "currently insecure" and for safety purposes Tower Road has been currently closed. - Credit: Mick Howes

A road has been closed for "safety purposes" as a power cut hits homes and an unofficial gust of 77mph has been reported in a seaside town.

Waves near Lowestoft's most easterly point on February 18.

Waves near Lowestoft's most easterly point on February 18. - Credit: Mick Howes

Within the past few hours Lowestoft and Southwold has been hit by Storm Eunice on Friday, February 18.

With wind speeds increasing a large sign at the entrance of Gateway Retail Park in south Lowestoft has been left "insecure" with police subsequently closing Tower Road "for safety purposes."

It has led to access by foot only to the popular retail park.

 

Nearby in the NR33 7 postcode in Pakefield, UK Power Networks engineers are currently dealing with a power cut in the area, which was reported at 12.35pm.

A fallen tree knocked down cables on Grand Avenue in Pakefield

A fallen tree knocked down cables on Grand Avenue in Pakefield, with UK Power Networks engineers at the scene. - Credit: Mick Howes

There have also been reports of a fallen tree on Grand Avenue, Pakefield, which has knocked some power cables down.

power cut Pakefield

UK Power Networks are investigating an overhead electricity line fault which has caused a power cut in Pakefield. - Credit: UK Power Networks

A UK Power Networks spokesman said: "We're investigating an overhead electricity line fault which has caused a power cut in the local area.

Waves on Lowestoft beach on February 18.

Waves on Lowestoft beach on February 18. - Credit: Mick Howes

"Our engineers are working hard to fix it as quickly as possible.

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"We are sorry for any trouble this may have caused you."

Waves Lowestoft on February 18.

Waves hitting the defences in Lowestoft on February 18. - Credit: Mick Howes

The current estimated time for power to be restored in this area is for between 6.30pm and 7.30pm today.

new beach huts on Jubilee Parade, Lowestoft.

Work continuing on the new beach huts on Jubilee Parade, Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

Meanwhile, as of 1pm, WeatherQuest meteorologist and BBC Look East forecaster Dan Holley said that "an unofficial gust of 77mph" had been reported at Southwold Lifeboat Station.

The progress of the storm

Trains cancelled at Lowestoft rail station on February 18.

Trains cancelled at Lowestoft rail station on February 18. - Credit: Mick Howes

With all Greater Anglia train services currently suspended, more than 100 schools have been closed across Suffolk with students moving to online learning.

Passengers at Lowestoft bus station on February 18.

Passengers at Lowestoft bus station on February 18. - Credit: Mick Howes

Libraries and Family Hubs were also closed, and some waste collections were impacted, although East Suffolk services in the north of the district (Lowestoft, Beccles, Southwold, Bungay, Halesworth) were continuing as scheduled for the time being.

Lowestoft town centre on February 18.

Lowestoft town centre on February 18. - Credit: Mick Howes

Meanwhile, strong winds over recent days have damaged some of the protective screens covering the Banksy seagull artwork on the corner of Katwijk Way and Denmark Road in Lowestoft.

Protective screens around the Bansky artwork has been damaged by the winds in Lowestoft.

Protective screens around the Bansky artwork has been damaged by the winds in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

An East Suffolk Council spokesman said: “Some of the protective screens covering this artwork were damaged during strong winds on Wednesday.

"Inspections were carried out on Thursday and in light of further adverse weather predicted for Friday, it was decided not to carry out repairs until after Storm Eunice has passed.

"The screens will be inspected once the weather has improved and the council will then liaise with the building owner with an aim to repair the screens as soon as possible.”

Venues remained open in Lowestoft on February 18.

Venues remained open in Lowestoft on February 18. - Credit: Mick Howes

With Storm Eunice being declared a "major incident" by community leaders in Suffolk, the county is preparing for winds that could reach 90mph.

Lowestoft Library was closed on February 18.

Lowestoft Library was closed on February 18. - Credit: Mick Howes

The Suffolk Resilience Forum met with key partners, such as emergency services, utility companies and health bodies, before making the decision on Friday morning.

Some shoppers in Lowestoft town centre on February 18.

Some shoppers in Lowestoft town centre on February 18. - Credit: Mick Howes

A red weather warning for wind has been declared for the southern half of Suffolk, warning of "significant disruption and dangerous conditions" that present a danger to life.

Train services cancelled at Lowestoft railway station.

Train services cancelled at Lowestoft railway station. - Credit: Mick Howes

Jon Lacey, chair of the Resilience Forum’s Strategic Coordination Group, said: "We are facing a significant risk of disruption and danger to life with the force of Storm Eunice.

The Nationwide Building Society branch in Lowestoft was closed on February 18.

The Nationwide Building Society branch in Lowestoft was closed on February 18. - Credit: Mick Howes

"I ask everyone to avoid any unnecessary travel and keep up to date on the latest advice being given by public bodies."

Lowestoft prom on February 18.

Lowestoft prom on February 18. - Credit: Mick Howes

UK Power Networks has advised people to call 105 if their power is cut off or they see a power line has been brought down in the strong winds.