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Busy night for emergency services as intense rain hits the region

PUBLISHED: 08:06 28 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:32 28 July 2018

Lightning over Hunstanton on July 27. Picture: ALISDAIR WILSON

Lightning over Hunstanton on July 27. Picture: ALISDAIR WILSON

ALISDAIR WILSON

Emergency services had a busy night because of heavy rain, intense thunder and lightning storms and giant hail stones.

The heatwave, which has impacted on the region for several weeks, came to an end yesterday creating impressive displays in the sky for several areas.

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But it also created high demand for the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service and Norfolk Police control rooms last night and early this morning.

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Insp Lou Provart, duty control inspector for the Norfolk Police said: “It was one of our busiest days we have had this year in terms of call volume.

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“The storms which came throughout the latter part of the evening caused a bit of havoc. We had lots of calls about that but there were no major incidents. We managed to meet the demand in the control room.”

The lightning over Norwich from Mousehold Heath between 9.30pm and 10.30pm on July 27. Picture: LIZ BRAYThe lightning over Norwich from Mousehold Heath between 9.30pm and 10.30pm on July 27. Picture: LIZ BRAY

Insp Provart added officers were called to some weather-related road traffic collisions last night including a van which came off the A11 into a hedge. There were no serious injuries.

The lightning over Norwich from Mousehold Heath in July. Picture: LIZ BRAYThe lightning over Norwich from Mousehold Heath in July. Picture: LIZ BRAY

Speaking about the weather-related accidents, the inspector added: “The rain caught people out. Nobody was expecting it. It was a perfect storm.”

The lightning over Norwich from Mousehold Heath between 9.30pm and 10.30pm on July 27. Picture: LIZ BRAYThe lightning over Norwich from Mousehold Heath between 9.30pm and 10.30pm on July 27. Picture: LIZ BRAY

He described the weather in Wymondham, where the police headquarters is based, was “ferocious”.

A shot of the storm over Attleborough. Picture: Jonathon ToddA shot of the storm over Attleborough. Picture: Jonathon Todd

The fire service also received a lot of calls because of the change in weather.

Lightning strikes over Sheringham. Picture: IMRE STUIFMEELLightning strikes over Sheringham. Picture: IMRE STUIFMEEL

A Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service control room operator said: “We took a lot of flooding calls in the early part of the evening.”

Hail banked up after the storm in Horningtoft, near Fakenham. Picture: Rex KellettHail banked up after the storm in Horningtoft, near Fakenham. Picture: Rex Kellett

There were reports of localised flooding in Hunstanton, Diss and Great Yarmouth.

The sky lights up during the storm in Dereham. Picture: GRANT KINGThe sky lights up during the storm in Dereham. Picture: GRANT KING

Hail stones as large as £1 coins also fell in some parts of the county yesterday.

Flash bang at Caister. Picture: Richard LayFlash bang at Caister. Picture: Richard Lay

Breckland District Council member Ian Sherwood tweeted that 18.8mm of rain fell in Swaffham and Sporle last night.

Flash bang at Caister. Picture: Richard LayFlash bang at Caister. Picture: Richard Lay

Phil Garner, a forecaster for Norwich-based Weatherquest, said the heaviest rainfall in Norfolk yesterday was in Marham where 29.6mm fell over 24 hours.

Flash bang at Caister. Picture: Richard LayFlash bang at Caister. Picture: Richard Lay

The slow intense rain, moved from the west of the county yesterday morning into the eastern areas of Norfolk and Suffolk.

Mr Garner said: “There might be the odd isolated shower across the county between now and 9.30am today. There might be the odd rumble of thunder in Great Yarmouth.”

But he added the weather would not be as “intense” as it was yesterday and the skies would become bright with sunshine later this afternoon .

Temperatures will be between 22C and 24C - which is normal for this time of year.

“It will feel more fresh this afternoon.”

The highest temperature in the area yesterday was 34.7C at Tibenham Airfield in Norfolk.

People should expect a bit of cloud and a breeze tomorrow and “more comfortable” temperatures next week despite the forecast of a slight rise on Thursday and Friday.

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