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Stand by West Norfolk - Christophe is on the way

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Drivers in West Norfolk are being urged to take extra care on the roads and only travel if absolutely necessary with heavy rainfall and high winds expected as Storm Christoph hits the UK.

A yellow weather warning for rain is in place tomorrow and Thursday and the Environment Agency has a number of flood alerts in place across the county.

Localised flooding is anticipated, making roads hazardous and difficult to pass in place, particularly on smaller country roads.

The A1101 is closed at Welney because of heavy flooding.. (44027551)
The A1101 is closed at Welney because of heavy flooding.. (44027551)

Any journeys made at the moment under lockdown measures should be for an essential purpose only. However, drivers are being asked to give extra consideration in making journeys and avoid travel over the next few days wherever possible.

Supt Dave Buckley, Norfolk’s county policing commander, said: "We experienced heavy rainfall over Christmas which caused widespread flooding in the south Norfolk area.

"With fields already water-logged, there is the possibility of back roads flooding, with areas becoming difficult or even impossible to pass.

"For the safety of everyone; our communities and our emergency services, which are already stretched with the demands of the coronavirus pandemic, we’d ask people to avoid travelling over the next few days wherever possible.

Dave Buckley (44027622)
Dave Buckley (44027622)

"Any journey we make under current lockdown rules should be for an essential purpose, such as food shopping or caring for a vulnerable friend or relative. With these weather warnings in place we would ask people to give extra thought before leaving home and ask yourself ‘can my journey wait’?”

Scott Norman, assistant chief fire officer for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: "We remain ready to respond to flooding incidents where there is a risk to life or property.

"We would urge people not to leave their homes unless for essential reasons. If you do encounter flooding when out, please do not enter the water as it is often deeper than it looks and you can quickly find yourself in difficulty.”

Melanie Craig, chief executive of NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: "With heavy rain forecast, we would like to remind local people to stay at home and follow the latest Covid-19 advice and guidance.

"If it’s essential for you to travel, please drive with caution. If you have a Covid-19 vaccination appointment, please continue to attend your booked appointment, providing it is safe for you to do so. Please leave extra time to travel if you need to, but aim to arrive on time for your appointment.

"This is really important so that social distancing can be maintained at vaccination sites.”

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, said: "Despite routine maintenance, and additional works carried out over the last few weeks, many systems are again likely to be overwhelmed by heavy rain falling on already saturated ground and full water courses.

"Surface water is taking longer to drain away than usual so please be patient. If you’re out for an essential journey, please do drive with extra care.

"Teams have been dealing with large numbers of flooding issues over recent weeks on top of the usual day to day work and essential gritting runs due to the cold weather.

"As always flooding within properties will be a priority, visit our website to report flooding here: https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/safety/floods/report-a-flood. ”

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