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Will Orwell Bridge close as weather warning for Storm Eleanor arrives tonight?

PUBLISHED: 11:21 02 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:11 02 January 2018

Forecasters have said that Suffolk is in for a windy night overnight into tomorrow, as gusts are set to reach 55mph.

Highways England have said there are no plans to close to Orwell Bridge at this stage. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Highways England have said there are no plans to close to Orwell Bridge at this stage. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A yellow weather warning has been issued by the Met Office from 6pm this evening to 6pm tomorrow for the east, warning of high winds from Storm Eleanor.

Chris Bell, Weatherquest forecaster said: “We are looking at a spell of windy weather that looks at its worst close to midnight and then it will be a windy spell through tonight and in to tomorrow.

“It’s probably wind gusts of around 50mph in land, and maybe a touch higher, 50-55mph along the coast.”

The Met Office added that the winds combined with high tides is likely to cause large waves and spray along the coast.

The current guidelines from Highways England says that winds between 45mph and 60mph – level three – means that advisory restrictions are put in place for Orwell Bridge use, with winds of 60mph or more usually triggering a closure.

A spokesman from Highways England said: “Based on current predications from the Met Office there are no plans to close the Orwell Bridge.

“Winds are being monitored but predicted to run along the length of the bridge and not across thereby reducing the risk.

“The weather situation will be monitored throughout the day but there is no indication that the Orwell Bridge may have to close later on.”

Snow is not expected to return to the county tonight. Picture: GREGG BROWN Snow is not expected to return to the county tonight. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A revised Orwell Bridge closure plan is currently in development, with additional measures set to be implemented when it is published.

The possibility of snow hasn’t been ruled out for later in the week into early next week, as temperatures are expected to dip.

An amber flood alert is currently in place for the Little Ouse and River Thet in west Suffolk.

The Environment Agency’s Flood information service said that water levels in the area were high after recent rain.

“We are expecting there to be no property flooding as a result of high river levels, but there could be some issues caused by surface water flooding,” said the site.

The Essex Weather Centre yesterday tweeted: “Unsettled sums up the rest of this week with frequent bands of rain pushing Eastwards across the UK. “Often windy, especially Wednesday with the risk of gales (Storm Eleanor) here in Essex.

“Increasing signs of a colder spell with snow from this coming weekend.”

Mr Bell said that current forecasts suggest it will remain dry, but said colder temperatures were expected for later in the week.

“Once we get to the weekend and early part of next week it will turn colder again and it is possible we could some showers from the east or north east from Sunday.

“At the moment it doesn’t look to be anything widespread, but it’s one to keep an eye on. At the moment it’s looking pretty dry.”

Overnight frosts and colder temperatures are expected at the weekend into next week.

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