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Storm Bella: Ipswich's A14 Orwell Bridge reopens and flood warnings issued across Suffolk



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A major bridge in Suffolk has reopened this morning after Storm Bella's high winds caused officials to close it overnight.

Highways England officials confirmed yesterday that the A14 Orwell Bridge in Ipswich would close from 8pm until 6am this morning.

The closure was due to the gust direction of the storm and the possibility of crosswinds. A diversion was in place while the bridge was closed.

According to the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service's incident log, firefighters were called to a flooding in Churchgate Street and Guildhall Street in Bury St Edmunds in the early hours of this morning.

Two crews were called to the area at about 1.30am and left the scene an hour later at 2.30am.

And there are flood warnings and alerts in place, issued by the Environment Agency, for several parts of Suffolk today as Storm Bella continues to hit the region.

Flooding on the B1062 near Homersfield on Christmas Eve. Picture: Halesworth Police
Flooding on the B1062 near Homersfield on Christmas Eve. Picture: Halesworth Police

Flood warnings, meaning flooding is expected and immediate action is required, have been issued for the following areas:

  • Isolated low lying properties along the tidal River Waveney (Areas most at risk are in St Olaves, Somerleyton, Burgh St Peter, Oulton Broad and Beccles. Roads likely to be affected include Beccles Road at St Olaves, Geldeston Lock Lane, Gillingham Dam and Fen Lane in Beccles)
  • Little Ouse River and River Thet at Thetford, Brandon and Waveney (River levels are rising at the Abbey Heath river gauge and consequently, flooding of property is imminent. Flooding is expected to affect Primrose Close, The Meadows, Castle Lane, Mill Lane, Old Bury Road, Bridge Street, Riverside Walk, Canon’s Close, Coney Close and Coventry Way in Thetford, Teal Walk, High Street and Riverside Way in Brandon and Church Lane in Hockwold)
  • River Waveney from Bungay to Ellingham (River levels are expected to continue to rise. Areas most at risk are riverside areas in Earsham, Bungay and Ditchingham including the A143)
  • River Waveney from Diss to Bungay (River levels are expected to continue to rise. Areas most at risk are riverside areas in Homersfield, Needham Mill, Brockdish, Scole and Diss, including the A143 at Scole and Homersfield, and the A1066 at Diss)
  • The tidal River Waveney from Ellingham Marshes to Belton (High tidal water moving up the rivers from Great Yarmouth, is currently restricting the normal drainage out to sea at low tide, of the Broads river system. Areas most at risk are in Belton, Geldeston and Beccles. Roads likely to be affected include Station Road in Geldeston, the A145 and the A146 through Beccles, the A143 at Haddiscoe and St Olaves and the railway line at Haddiscoe)

And the following places currently have flood alerts in place, meaning flooding is possible and residents should be prepared:

  • Ely Ouse in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk (Flooding of property, roads and farmland is possible – flooding is expected to affect the River Great Ouse and the Cambridgeshire Lodes)
  • Little Ouse River and River Thet in Suffolk and Norfolk (Flooding of property, roads and farmland is possible – flooding is expected to affect the Little Ouse River from Rickinghall to Hockwold, including The Black Bourn, and River Thet from Attleborough to Thetford)
  • River Lark in Suffolk (River levels remain higher than normal at the Sicklesmere river gauge – flooding is expected to affect the River Lark from Sicklesmere to Isleham)
  • The River Gipping, from downstream of Needham Market, to upstream of London Road Bridge, Ipswich (Minor flooding to low lying land, roads and riverside areas is likely with river levels expected to continue to rise)
  • The Rivers Deben and Lark (Minor flooding to low lying land, roads and riverside areas is likely with river levels expected to continue to rise)
  • The River Stour from Sudbury to Stratford St Mary and Dedham (River levels expected to continue to rise – areas most affected are Sky Hall Hill Road, Wick Road and Lower Farm Road around Boxted Mill)
  • The River Waveney from Diss and the River Dove to Ellingham, including Bungay (Minor flooding to low lying land, roads and riverside areas is likely with river levels expected to continue to rise)
  • The tidal River Waveney from Ellingham to Breydon Water (Minor flooding to riverside roads and footpaths is likely - high water levels expected at Beccles Quay)

And support is being offered to those affected by the floods of the last few days.

Sikh humanitarian relief charity Khalsa Aid has said it has sandbags for those whose properties have been hit by floodwater.

They said they are happy to donate the bags to registered community groups or parish councils to be distributed to those in need.

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Read more: All the latest news from Suffolk