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Orwell Bridge: Highways England keeping an eye on Storm Francis

PUBLISHED: 11:39 24 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:49 24 August 2020

The Orwell Bridge could close due to high winds after the Met Office issued a weather warning  Picture: PAUL GEATER

The Orwell Bridge could close due to high winds after the Met Office issued a weather warning Picture: PAUL GEATER

Archant

Weather forecasts are being closely monitored by Highways England officials in case predicted high winds mean the Orwell Bridge needs to close.

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.

In a tweet, a Highways England spokesman said: “Morning everyone @metoffice have a yellow warning for wind for tomorrow and Wednesday.

“We’ll get an updated forecast later this afternoon and let you know the situation about [the] Orwell Bridge for tomorrow.”

Highways England protocol means the bridge would close if crosswinds (northerly or southerly) exceed more than 50mph. Tomorrow’s south-westerly winds in Suffolk are not expected to be as high as other parts of the country, but could still pass the threshold.

Adam Dury, forecaster at East Anglian-based Weatherquest, said coastal parts of 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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