Storm Doris batters East Cambs

Storm Doris is battering East Cambridgeshire, causing chaos for commuters and causing some colleges to shut early.

A driver had a lucky escape after a tree was ripped from its roots, collapsing onto a car in Martins Lane, Witcham.

Councillor Mike Bradley, pictured right with Councillor Lisa Stubbs, closed the road and put out traffic cones to seal off the area while a tree officer was dispatched.
The driver escaped unhurt.
Meanwhile Witchford Village College sent students home at 2pm as gusty gales of 60mph hit the Ely area.
With school buses only able to operate single decker vehicles, the secondary school made the decision to close early so pupils could be safely transported. The college has also postponed its year nine parents evening, which had been due to take place tonight.
Ely College has cancelled its adult education courses tonight due to “bad weather conditions”.
Police are receiving a large number of calls relating to Storm Doris, and are reminding people only to ring 999 in an emergency.

Train commuters are facing chaos this afternoon, with British Transport Police warning that all lines in and out of Cambridge have been suspended.

However, causing further confusion, according to National Rail, some services are still running as usual out of Ely, although many have been severely disrupted.
Earlier a plastic sheet caught on overhead wires at Great Chesterford, near Cambridge, was causing delays of up to an hour between Bishops Stortford and Cambridge, affecting some commuters’ journeys in and out of London Liverpool Street.
Greater Anglia is warning of cancellations and major delays at Cambridge until 7pm at the earliest.

National Rail is advising passengers to check before they travel, as high winds and heavy rain are disrupting services across the rail network.
Roads are also affected by the weather bomb hitting our region, with reports of the Gil Gales – part of the old A10 linking Ely and Littleport – being closed, due to fallen trees.
Storm damage is also affecting Ely Road between Ely and Little Downham, with a fallen tree blocking part of the road at the Seven Sisters bend.
Spotted in Ely has also received reports of a van on its side on the A142, downed trees blocking parts of or entire roads at Grunty Fen and Dunstan Street, Ely, and on the A14 slip road at Milton and A47 Wisbech by-pass.

Doris is also causing damage to a number of homes, with reports of guttering being ripped off buildings.
Normally heaving on a Thursday, Ely city centre was a ghost town today, with many shoppers staying away, and only the most hardy market vendors trading this morning.

Milton Country Park is closed for 24 hours due to the storm.
The Met Office has an amber warning in place for the East of England, with gusts of up to 70mph likely and up to 80mph on coasts and hills.
“Whilst the strongest winds look to be only short-lived, damaged to structures, interruptions to power supplies and widespread disruption to travel networks are likely, with a danger of injury from flying debris.
“Trees are also likely to be damaged or blown over.”
The Met Office is warning of heavy rain throughout today as the system clears eastwards, which may cause additional hazards.

RAC Traffic Watch spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Motorists are advised to take extra care as Storm Doris impacts the UK, be prepared to reduce your speed, allow plenty of room between your car and the vehicle in front and be wary of aquaplaning where water accumulates on the road.
“Be mindful that there will be strong gusts of wind, so ensure you have a good grip of the steering wheel and take extra care when overtaking high-sided vehicles and passing motorcyclists and cyclists who are susceptible to be buffeted and blown off course the wind.”

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