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Strong winds cause damage across Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 19:10 29 August 2010 | UPDATED: 10:57 16 September 2010

High winds brought down a tree which blocked Cadge Road at the junction with Ranworth Road in Norwich.

High winds brought down a tree which blocked Cadge Road at the junction with Ranworth Road in Norwich.

Kim Briscoe

Strong winds and thunderstorms have caused damage and brought down trees across Norfolk.

The fast-moving heavy storm hit north Norfolk and the King's Lynn area at about 2pm on Sunday and moved south-easterly across the county.

Strong winds and thunderstorms have caused damage and brought down trees across Norfolk.

The fast-moving heavy storm hit north Norfolk and the King's Lynn area at about 2pm on Sunday and moved south-easterly across the county.

There have been reports that it even created a twister in the Watton area and police say they are dealing with several cases where trees have blocked roads.

Weather forecasters said the storm reached its peak at about 2.20pm, when it was in the Swaffham and Watton areas and it was moving so quickly it had left the county by 3pm.

The storm brought down a tree onto a car in Swaffham, while in nearby North Pickenham it caused the gable end of a house to collapse.

Plumstead Road East between Thorpe St Andrew and Thorpe End was still blocked this morning as work to remove a large felled tree continued.

Joe Osborne, forecaster at the University of East Anglia's Weatherquest company, said: “We had a line of thunderstorms move in from the North Sea.

“They were quite fast moving storms and rolled through the area in a very, very short time.

“One place saw what was reported as a twister. You often see a funnel cloud or tornado forming at the end of the line of thunderstorms and while I would have to see the damage to know if it was a twister or not it's viable that it could have been given that weather set up.”

Norfolk Constabulary said it was currently dealing with up to seven cases where trees had been felled by the strong gusts and were now either completely blocking or partially blocking roads.

These include fallen trees in West Winch, Shouldham Thorpe, Heacham, Attleborough, Loddon and at the junction of Cadge Road with Ranworth Road in North Earlham, Norwich.

Firefighters were called out to assist after a tree fell on a vehicle on the A47 at Swaffham at 2.15pm. The motorist was not trapped in the car.

Fire crews were also called when part of a house collapsed due to the strong winds.

The gable end of the semi-detached property in The Street, North Pickenham, partially collapsed shortly before 2.20pm.

The collapse left the building in an unstable state and fire crews from Swaffham, Dereham, Watton and a specialist urban search and rescue team were called out to make it safe.

At Bell Road, Saham Toney, near Watton, a brick wall at the home of Gavin Fulham was knocked by a suspected twister on Sunday.

Mr Fulham said: “I was sitting in garden and the weather changed quite quickly from a breezy day to swirling gusts of wind and heard these strange rumblings of thunder, although initially it sounded like the guns from the battle area rather than your regular storm.

“After coming inside my wife Sonia and my daughter Ellen noticed the 15ft Silver Birch tree in the garden was being bent almost horizontal across our trampoline and plastic garden chairs were being lifted and thrown around. Then my son Jack who was watching out the upstairs window shouted that the garden wall had come down.

“After checking the damage we went to the front of the house and noticed that one of the large trees that borders Saham mere had come down and blocked the road.

“After the event and very suddenly the wind died completely and the atmosphere was very still. It all happened in a matter 30 seconds and I have never experienced weather quite like it myself.”

At one point on Sunday about 2000 homes in the Necton area were without power.

Send us your stories and pictures of the storm or the storm damage to newsdesk@archant.co.uk or call reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419.

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