Suffolk escapes gale damage

SUFFOLK seems to have escaped any major damage caused by high winds which buffeted large areas of the country overnight.Winds of 55mph were recorded in Ipswich but emergency services reported a largely trouble-free night.

SUFFOLK seems to have escaped any major damage caused by high winds which buffeted large areas of the country overnight.

Winds of 55mph were recorded in Ipswich but emergency services reported a largely trouble-free night.

Suffolk Police said fallen trees had been reported in a number of areas but there was no major damage to property or disruption to motorists.

The Met Office had warned of exceptionally severe weather and said gusts of up to 90mph were predicted for the east of England.

It said considerable damage to trees, some structural damage to buildings and disruption to transport was expected as large parts of the east and north of England and Scotland were buffeted by the winds.

Other areas were bracing themselves for winds reaching 70mph.

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Electricity supplier EDF Energy placed extra staff on alert in readiness for damage to power lines and disruption to electricity supplies but no major incidents were reported.

Two years ago high winds caused many people in the area to be without power for several days after power lines were hit.

EDF Energy said today it would keep staff on alert while the high winds remained.

A spokesman for the company said: "Our emergency plan will remain in place and we will continue to monitor the weather very closely."

Evening Star weatherman Ken Blowers said the high winds reached their peak in Ipswich at about 4am, when south westerly gales of 55mph were recorded.

He said: "The peak of it was in the early hours.

"It is still quite high but it will gradually go down during the day.

"Further north it was far worse."

The extreme weather was caused by a series of depressions coming in from the Atlantic.

High winds are expected to continue throughout the weekend and early next week with gusts of up to 40mph expected throughout Saturday.

Mr Blowers said: "The depression is now moving away over the North Sea. As the depression goes away winds gradually decrease," Mr Blowers said.

N Did the extreme weather affect you? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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