North Norfolk braces as Storm Eunice set to batter region

Storm Corrie North Westerly winds drive waves onto Cromer promendade at daybreak.

North Norfolk is bracing for Storm Eunice. - Credit: Laura Biggart

North Norfolk is bracing for major disruption as Storm Eunice is set to bring the strongest winds the region has seen for years. 

The brunt of the storm is expected to hit late in the morning and early afternoon on Friday (February 18) and forecasts predicted wind speeds in parts of north Norfolk could be among the highest in the region.

But the coastline itself is likely to avoid flooding seen in past storm surges, as the winds of Storm Eunice are coming from the south and south-west rather than from the North Sea. 

Cromer could be among the worst affected, with the town expected to face gusts of up to 90mph.

Other predictions are: North Walsham (wind gusts of up to 82mph);  Mundesley: 83mph; Sheringham, 73mph and Norwich 83mph. 

Tim Adams, North Norfolk District Council leader, said people should avoid unnecessary travel on Friday and make sure bins and other objects which could be blown over were secured. 

Mr Adams some parts of Cromer Pier, including the shop, would be closed for the day. 

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He said: “The message is to report fallen trees and don’t take unnecessary journeys. We’re advising our own staff to work from home, and as much as possible I think that should go for everyone else as well.

“Openwide are closing elements of the pier - the shop, restaurant and theatre, in preparation. At this time we’re not planning to close the pier but that could be subject to change." 

Mr Adams said because of the wind direction they expected less damage to seafront areas from Storm Eunice compared to previous storms, but there was a more general risk of damage across the district.

He said: “The biggest risk is probably trees falling onto highways and other infrastructure."

Gary Johnson, a manager at Garden Centre Overstrand, said it was among businesses making preparations for the storm.

He said: "Tall plants, trellis work and polytunnels will be secured, and our doors will be kept firmly shut. 

Overstrand Garden Centre.

Overstrand Garden Centre. - Credit: Archant

“If by lunchtime or mid morning it is really bad or dangerous we will close the business for the day.”

However, Becky Robinson, from North Sea Coffee on Cromer’s Esplanade, said she hoped it would avoid the worst of the weather because the cafe was sheltered from the direction the storm was coming from.

She said: “Because the wind is southerly or south-westerly I’m hoping that our end will be all right.”

Ms Robinson said she hoped the impact to Cromer would not be as severe as Storm Corrie at the end of January, which saw thousands of small rocks thrown up onto the Esplanade.

Becky Robinson, who runs North Sea Coffee on the East Promenade in Cromer.

Becky Robinson, who runs North Sea Coffee on the East Promenade in Cromer. - Credit: Supplied by Becky Robinson

She said: “When we had that swell, one of our regular customers who is a fisherman, pulled his boat up in front of the shop, and we sandbagged as well.”

Visitor attractions including Amazona Zoo and National Trust sites such as Blickling and Felbrigg Estates will be closed on Friday and Saturday morning - with Blickling set to reopen on Sunday

Some events have also been rearranged. Chris Green from Wroxham Football Club said they were aiming to reschedule a planned home match against Swaffham Town from Friday evening to Saturday. 

Pictures taken in the aftermath of Storm Corrie on Sunday, January 30, show the amount of stones and

A photo taken in the aftermath of Storm Corrie on Sunday, January 30, show the amount of stones and debris brought up on the promenade by high winds and powerful waves - Credit: Allen Leach

Mr Green said: “We’re surrounded by trees and it has been very wet recently. 

“We don’t want to end up with a rather large chestnut tree on the pitch or surrounds.”

UK Power Networks has urged people to "stay well away" from power lines during the storm, which is expected to cause widespread disruption. 

A spokesman said: "Our electricity network is built to be resilient but extreme weather can affect overhead power lines. 

"We have additional staff on duty covering operational, technical and call centre roles. As always our priorities in these situations are public safety and restoring supplies to customers as quickly and safely as possible."