Weather update: Strong winds gradually easing as Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire deal with disruption
Warnings to remain vigilant have been re-iterated this evening (Thursday) as the strong winds which have battered the region over the past 24 hours at last begin to ease.
Gusts of up to 68mph were recorded on the coast as rail services were disrupted, trees were felled, roads were blocked and solar panels were ripped from school roofs.
The damage and disruption was felt across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire with emergency services and highway teams reporting hundreds of call-outs caused by the stormy weather.
Even those people staying indoors could not escape the effects of the winds with thousands of homes experiencing power cuts in 200 separate incidents across the East of England.
A spokesman for UK Power Networks said engineers would continue to work through the night to restore the power.
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This evening forecasters said the winds had begun to ease and, while set to remain quite strong throughout the evening, the gusts would have dropped to a much-lower 20mph by tomorrow (Friday).
Phil Garner, from Norwich-based Weatherquest, said: 'It's hard to pick out any areas which have been worse affected than others. The strong gusts were along the east coast.
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'We had west or north-westerly winds from gusts of 64mph at Marham to as high as 68mph at Weybourne on the north Norfolk coast.
'The blustery conditions did ease a little this afternoon. Gusts were getting into the low 50s – about 51mph or 52mph. They will gradually ease down through the evening. Tomorrow, we'll have gusts of up to 20mph.'
But emergency services continued to urge people to be vigilant if they were heading out this evening.
In Norfolk, police answered 140 calls over night and this morning linked to the weather – 80 of which related to roads blocked by trees and other debris. A spokesman said things had calmed down later in the day and 'nothing exceptional' had been reported.
A number of schools were closed including Acle High School which was declared unsafe after the high winds ripped solar panels from a roof and sent them crashing into the boys' toilets.
Rail services were also hit across the region.
The worst disruption was felt in West Norfolk when commuters endured long delays after the gusts damaged overhead power cables and sent them smashing into two windows of a train at Littleport.
Engineers were set to work throughout the night to try to get services back to normal by tomorrow's rush hour.
National Express East Anglia was also kept busy with a number of disruptions to services on the Norwich to Cambridge line and between Colchester and Ipswich.
Tonight spokesman Peter Meades said everything was back on track with a normal timetable running this evening.
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