Flooding, downed trees and overturned cars amid high winds and torrential rain
PUBLISHED: 18:21 25 September 2020 | UPDATED: 08:20 26 September 2020
Gale-force winds and torrential rain led to widespread flooding, felled trees and blocked roads across Norfolk.
Emergency services have received dozens of call outs to incidents caused by the winds of up to 70mph and heavy rain that lashed the region throughout Friday.
Norwich-based forecasters Weatherquest said winds of 67mph had been recorded at Weybourne, the strongest September gust in the region since 1997, and the joint strongest September gust in the past 40 years.
At lunchtime on Friday forecaster Dan Holley tweeted: “Houghton Hall has now recorded 53.4mm of rain so far today, which is essentially the monthly average. Rain may ease a little later this evening, but will broadly continue on-off until Saturday evening, and staying damp and drizzly into Sunday.”
MORE: Double weather warnings in place for 70mph winds and heavy rain in Norfolk
Hundreds of people were left without power, four schools were shut, National Trust sites and Pensthorpe closed, while damage caused to Amazona’s Tropical House saw the Cromer zoo forced to close its doors.
The Met Office, which put in two yellow warnings, saying flooding from rain and damage from wind is possible, said gales and severe gales would continue overnight especially along the coast.
Further rain is forecast into Saturday with winds remaining strong, perhaps with coastal gales and maximum temperatures of 14C.
Hundreds of homes and businesses were left without electricity due to dozens of power cuts right across the county.
UK Power Networks said it had drafted in extra engineers into Norfolk to help deal with the number of downed and damaged overhead electricity lines.
Anglian Water said homes around North Walsham had experienced low water pressure or no water at all due to a pump failure caused due to a power cut in the area.
Fire crews were called to dangerous cables that had been downed on Jubilee Avenue in Fakenham and live wires brought down by a tree on The Drove in Downham Market.
Fire appliances were also called in to tackle flooding in Hunstanton, Mundesley, Swaffham, Watton and Scoulton.
Meanwhile crews from Earlham and Carrow helped to rescue a horse from a flood water filled ditch on Chapel Break Road near Bawburgh Lakes.
Sanders coaches saw services delayed due to a fallen telegraph pole in High Kelling, while a number of Konectbus services into Norwich were delayed or diverted due to flooding.
Police were called to deal with a car that had overturned in Cringleford after its driver hit standing water in the carriageway.
A downed tree in the left lane of the A47 between North Burlingham and Acle saw officers reduce the road to a single carriageway.
MORE: Amazona Zoo closed after winds damage building
The high winds left many trees downed blocking roads and causing damage to homes and gardens.
Jane Hines, who saw a large tree in her garden in Buxton come crashing down, said: “A neighbour came round to say he heard intense creaking and then saw the tree crashed.
“It took out all our high wooden fencing and gate and blocked a footpath. Luckily no one was injured as it’s used by local people for exercise and dog walking.”
Staff at Tesco Harford Bridge helped clear a tree that had fallen on the A140 helped by passing workers with a chainsaw.
Schools affected included Horning Community Primary which was left with no power and flooding, Marshland St James Primary, which experienced a power cut, and Sprowston Community Academy, which partially closed due to flooding.
The academy site, in Cannerby Lane, was closed to years eight to 10 and sixth form students.
Headteacher Liz Wood said: “Significant and on-going rain is causing flooding in one of our main buildings and around the school site.
“This is potentially dangerous and is affecting the one way systems and holding areas needed to maintain our Covid safety plan and ensure the safety and welfare of our pupils. This will always be our primary concern.”
Amazona Zoo in Cromer announced it will remain closed until Wednesday, September 30, because of damage caused to its Tropical House roof in the current high winds. A number of trees had also fallen around the park.
Holkham Estate has cancelled its weekend events due to forecasted high winds. The National Trust parks at Blickling, Sheringham Park and Felbrigg will remain shut again on Saturday.
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