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Major incident declared in Suffolk as Storm Eunice hits

Posted by Communications on 18 February 2022 | Comments

The evolving situation with Storm Eunice has led to a major incident being declared in Suffolk.

Partners in the Suffolk Resilience Forum, including councils, health bodies, utility companies and the emergency services, made the decision this morning following an assessment of the situation facing the county. The declaration formalises joint-working and resource sharing arrangements.

Parts of Suffolk were placed in the red warning zone early this morning, which means there is a significant risk to life. Forecasters expect gusts of wind of up to 80mph between 10am and 3pm.

The Resilience Forum’s Strategic Coordination Group is being chaired by Suffolk Fire and Rescue Chief Fire Officer Jon Lacey. He said:

“We are facing a significant risk of disruption and danger to life with the force of Storm Eunice.

“It is therefore right that we respond in a fully coordinated way with all blue light and multi-agency partners.

“I ask everyone to avoid any unnecessary travel and keep up to date on the latest advice being given by public bodies.”

The public is being asked to play their part by avoiding unnecessary journeys during the worst of the storm.

Those who must travel should:

  • Drive to the conditions, with debris and surface water expected
  • Report fallen trees and obstructions on roads and paths to Suffolk Highways on 0345 606 6171
  • Avoid coastal areas due to an increased risk of erosion posing danger to life
  • Plan your journey well in advance and check for travel disruption before leaving – the Orwell Bridge is currently closed in both directions and rail networks are operating a reduced service

The storm may also cause disruption to the county’s power supply, so people are encouraged to prepare for this by fully charging their mobile phones and having torches to hand.

Further information on power cuts can be found at: ukpowernetworks.co.uk/power-cut or by contacting UK Power Networks on 105. Damaged powerlines can also be reported to this number, as well as 999 if there is an immediate risk to public safety.

A major incident is called when the situation is believed to be beyond ‘business-as-usual’ operations and when there is the heightened risk of serious harm, damage, disruption or threat to human life or welfare.

A number of public sector services have been affected today, including more than 100 schools being closed and students moving to online learning. Libraries and Family Hubs are closed, and some waste collections have been impacted. Suffolk residents can keep updated on the storm and subsequent disruptions by: