Storm Francis arrives in Suffolk – will the Orwell Bridge close?

A body was discovered under the Orwell Bridge on Thursday Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A body was discovered under the Orwell Bridge on Thursday Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Strong gales and torrential rain are set to hit Suffolk this morning - with fears the Orwell Bridge could be forced to close if wind speeds rise.

Highways England is monitoring the bridge as gusts of wind could be reaching up to 60mph today. The threshold for closing the bridge is 50mph.

Zoe Johnson, Weatherquest meteorologist, said: “We will see southerly winds this morning, moving to south westerly later in the day.

“The winds will strengthen throughout the morning quite rapidly and by the afternoon will be moderate to strong, with the possibility of gales in some areas.

“This morning we should see gusts of wind between 40mph and 45mph and then this afternoon 50mph to 55mph, with the possibility of 60mph.”

The Met Office has issued a warning for much of the country for 24 hours from 9am today – 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 of damage to buildings and the possibility of injuries, while bridges and roads may be forced to close for safety reasons.

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