Storm Bella: Orwell Bridge set to stay OPEN on Boxing Day despite winds

Highways England said work was still on course for the 40mph speed limit to be in place on the bridg

Storm Bella is set to hit Suffolk - but the Orwell Bridge is expected to remain open despite strong winds - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The Orwell Bridge is not forecast to close when Storm Bella hits Suffolk on Boxing Day - despite winds being forecast of nearly 50mph.

The Met Office has put a "yellow" level weather warning in place for wind tomorrow, with heavy rain and strong winds set to start in the afternoon and gather pace during the evening and night.

Met Office forecasts show wind speeds steadily increasing to a predicted 51mph at 3am on Sunday.

However, Highways England - which manages the A14 - Tweeted on Christmas Day to say that despite the storm, it is not expected that the bridge will have to close.

"Due to Storm Bella we are anticipating very strong winds on Boxing Day (tomorrow) and very heavy rain," Highways England said on Twitter. 

"Forecasted gusts are just under our thresholds so not planning to close right now."

The organisation did, however, warn that: "Risk times are 9pm to 6am."

The region has already seen torrential rain on Wednesday into Christmas Eve, causing widespread flooding across the county - with many roads having to be closed after becoming impassable.

Flood alerts were put in place across several parts of the county, but perhaps some of the most striking scenes were at Stowmarket's Rattlesden River.

In another incident, a FedEx van driver had to climb to safety after his vehicle became stuck in flood water at Moulton Packhorse Bridge.

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