Fifteen flood alerts in place amid 'stay indoors' warning
- Credit: Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Copyright: Archant 2021
Fifteen flood alerts are in place for Norfolk, Waveney and the Fens as emergency services urged people to stay at home amid weather warnings.
Localised flooding is anticipated, making roads hazardous and difficult to pass in place, particularly on smaller country roads.
And firefighters were out in Potter Heigham this morning, tackling flooding in Reynolds Lane.
A crew from Stalham was called at just before 6.45am and spent more than an hour pumping water away.
Norfolk police, firefighters and health bosses have urged people to stay indoors - to ease the pressure on emergency services already stretched because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
While any journeys made at the moment under lockdown measures should be for an essential purpose only, drivers have been urged to avoid travelling on the county's roads over the next few days if possible.
The warning comes at a time when recent flooding and snowfall has left the ground saturated and drainage systems struggling to cope.
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Superintendent 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.
"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’?”
NHS bosses have also urged people not to venture out, but stressed people should still attend Covid-19 vaccination appointments.
Melanie Craig, chief executive of NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, 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.”
Firefighters from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service spent part of yesterday in Long Stratton trying to pump away water causing issues on the A140.
And Scott Norman, assistant chief fire officer for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said they would need to prioritise situations where properties or lives were at risk.
He 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.”
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."
People can report flooding at www.norfolk.gov.uk/safety/floods/report-a-flood.
Flood alerts are in place for:
Hundred Foot Washes in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk
Little Ouse River and River Thet in Suffolk and Norfolk
North West Norfolk Rivers
River Nar in Norfolk
River Wissey in Norfolk
The River Bure, Spixworth Beck and surrounding Becks
The River Burn from Southgate and Waterden to Burnham Thorpe
The River Stiffkey from Fulmodeston to Warham
The Rivers Tud and Wensum from Fakenham to Costessey, including Wendling Beck
The River Waveney from Diss and the River Dove to Ellingham, including Bungay
The tidal Rivers Bure, Ant and Thurne
The tidal River Waveney from Ellingham to Breydon Water
The tidal River Yare from Thorpe St Andrew to Breydon Water
The upper Rivers Yare, Tiffey, Tas and Wacton
Welney Causeway in Norfolk