Strong winds batter region - but Orwell Bridge stays open

Wet and windy weather is on the way Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

It's set to be a wet and windy day across Suffolk - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

A weather warning remains in place for strong winds which have hit the region this morning - but the Orwell Bridge is staying open.

The Met Office yellow-level warning came into force at 9pm last night. It will remain in place until 3pm this afternoon. 

It warns that "strong winds accompanied by heavy and blustery showers may bring some disruption".

In the Stowmarket area, 200 homes have been left without power following the stormy weather.

Dan Holley, from East Anglian forecast Weatherquest, tweeted that wind speeds had already reached highs of 54mph in Mildenhall and 52mph at Wattisham. 

Despite the strong winds, Highways England confirmed this morning that the Orwell Bridge is open and that there are no plans to close it.

"Good morning - the Orwell Bridge is open to traffic - we will be monitoring wind speeds throughout the day, but do not currently have any plans to close the bridge - we will of course advise if anything changes via our twitter account," said Highways England on Twitter. 

The RNLI urged people to exercise caution if visiting exposed cliffs, seafronts or piers due to the "severe safety risk" caused by the wind, which is expected to be accompanied by heavy showers.

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The charity's head of water safety, Gareth Morrison, said earlier this week: "In a normal year around 150 people lose their lives at the coast and we know that more than half of those never intended to be in the water.

"So, whether you are walking, running or cycling at the coast, please be extra responsible and avoid taking unnecessary risks or entering the water."

The windy weather is expect to ease over the next few days. 

Meteorologist Greg Dewhurst told the PA news agency: "The weekend is set to have an unsettled start but nothing usual for the time of year."

He added: "We could see some strong winds during the early hours of Saturday morning and lots of heavy showers around particularly in the west.

"But as we go head into Sunday they should become less frequent and not quite as heavy, so it is an unsettled start but as the weekend goes on the winds will start to ease a little bit."

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