Orwell Bridge: Storm Francis wind speeds to be higher than originally expected

PUBLISHED: 19:11 24 August 2020 | UPDATED: 19:11 24 August 2020

The Orwell Bridge, photographed from Naction Foreshore. Picture: PAUL GEATER

The Orwell Bridge, photographed from Naction Foreshore. Picture: PAUL GEATER


Wind speeds are predicted to be higher than originally expected tomorrow, but a decision on whether to close the Orwell Bridge has not yet been taken.

Storm Francis is expected to batter the county tomorrow, bringing high winds and torrential rain to Suffolk.

Highways England have released an update on the closure of the bridge this evening, stating that their most recent forecast shows that wind speeds will be higher than originally expected after Midday tomorrow.

Despite the most recent update, the highways agency has not made an early decision on whether to close the Orwell Bridge.

They said an update will be given tomorrow morning.

A spokesperson said: “We’ve had an updated forecast for the Orwell Bridge for tomorrow.

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“The wind speeds are predicted to increase slightly from midday tomorrow than what was previously modelled.

“We will keep an eye on the forecasts and let you know the situation tomorrow morning.”

The Met Office has issued a warning for much of the country for 24 hours from 9am on Tuesday, August 25 – with wind speeds predicted to rise as high as 70mph in coastal areas as part of Storm Francis.

As part of the warning, forecasters have warned damages to buildings and the possibility of injuries are possible, while bridges and roads may be forced to close for safety reasons.

Adam Dury, forecaster at East Anglian-based Weatherquest, said coastal parts of the region will not see speeds reach higher than 60mph – but will be in for a wet and windy day.

Mr Dury said: “Throughout the morning there will be a large amount of rain until midday when it will brighten up – but there is still a chance of showers.

“The wind will be the main thing for tomorrow, with the gusts reaching between 45mph to 50mph inland.”

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