The clean-up in Norfolk continues this week after a dramatic weather front with winds reaching up to 70 mph winds hit the county, and Norse Highways crews have been thanked for their hard work in dealing with more than 1,000 emergency calls.
In a 52-hour period – between 5pm on Friday, September 25 and 9pm on Sunday, September 27 – our Norse Highways teams and our sub-contractors, cleared 203 trees and broken branches that had fallen onto roads or pavements, one even landing on a car.
And their exceptional hard work was noted by our Norfolk County Council clients.
Cllr Martin Wilby, cabinet member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport, said: “I’d like to thank highway crews for their hard work over the weekend as we dealt with an unprecedented number of calls.
“It was a remarkable effort which saw teams dealing with hundreds of trees and branches down on our roads and paths, issues with traffic lights and damaged streetlights, and flash flooding caused by the sudden and prolonged rainfall.
“The majority of our roads are now open as usual. However, due to the severity of the storm we will be continuing the clear up operation over the coming days.”
Norse Highways, which marks its first anniversary as part of the Norse Group on October 1, manages and maintains approximately 9,800km of Norfolk highways on behalf of the county council.
The teams help to maintain, improve and manage the use of public roads, offering a comprehensive range of services including pothole repairs; routine maintenance; carriageway surfacing and repair; private works; and gritting during the winter months. And, of course, an essential emergency response.
Jason Glasspoole, Operations Director, Norse Highways, said he was incredibly pleased with the response and proud of his team, who had gone out in the severe weather conditions in order to keep the roads and walkways for local communities as safe as they possible could.
“On the Friday (25 September) we quickly increased the number of staff on duty, with up to 12 crews working over the weekend compared to the three crews that would usually be on standby.
“The majority of calls related to the north and east of Norfolk, with North Norfolk, Broadland and the Great Yarmouth areas being the worst affected areas.
“There were huge trees down everywhere – one had even crushed a car. And in the coastal areas we saw sand dunes blown on to roads and pathways.
“These are difficult conditions to work in – as the winds didn’t drop for a couple of days and the rain never let up – but our crews just get out and get on with the job in hand. They really do deserve credit for how professionally they responded.”
Jason said we are now into detailed planning and preparation for the winter months which is, of course, one of the busiest times for the response crews.
“Our teams have a lot of experience and they know their stuff. They are all getting ready to keep the roads as safe as they can during the colder months and are ready to help to action the county council’s winter planning response,” he added.
In Norfolk people can report any highways related problems, such as fallen trees, using the county council’s online form at: www.norfolk.gov.uk/highwaysproblems