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Suffolk/Essex: Gales and floods possible as stormy weather returns today

PUBLISHED: 12:54 14 February 2014 | UPDATED: 18:02 14 February 2014

Ferocious gale force winds and localised flooding are the dangers facing parts of Suffolk and Essex tonight.

Another bout of stormy weather is on its way to the county this afternoon with exposed coastal areas bearing the brunt of it.

But the worst weather is expected to arrive during the night.

While the rain will arrive first, around noon, the wind won’t be with us until mid-afternoon.

Inland areas will see wind speeds of 20-25mph and gusts of up to 50mph, according to Weatherquest forecaster Steve Western.

In the early evening gusts could increase to 60mph and stay that way for several hours.

The highest winds will be around 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; gale force winds and gusts up to 80mph are possible.

On expected rainfall Mr Western said: “Everyone will get a half inch of rain.

“That’s almost certainly enough to bring rivers up onto flood plains.”

Mr Western also said combined rainfall this afternoon and tonight could mean some places see almost an inch of rain.

A spokesman for the Highways Agency confirmed they would be keeping an eye on the wind speeds around the Orwell Bridge, near Ipswich.

“When winds reach 50mph it’s monitored to see how consistent it is,” she said. “If it reaches 60mph and stays consistent we may take the decision to close the bridge.”

She added that even at lower speeds some restriction may be placed on high sided vehicles using the bridge.

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.”

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