It was the onslaught Norfolk had been bracing for.

And Storm Babet arrived in full force on Friday, bringing a day of deluge, destruction and disruption.

The region endured heavy rain and gale-force winds, with streets flooded, trees felled and schools closed.

The weather brought gridlock to Norfolk's two busiest roads, with both the A47 and A11 closed on long stretches.

On the A11, a 10-mile stretch between Thetford and Larling was shut after a tree fell on the carriageway, which also became flooded.

Meanwhile, the A47 was closed in both directions from Honingham to Easton because of deep water on the road.

Police warned it was not likely to reopen until some point today - when the floodwater has dropped - raising the prospect of delays for football fans heading to Carrow Road, including Leeds fans travelling from Yorkshire.

Fakenham & Wells Times: The large tree is blocking the A11 northboundThe large tree is blocking the A11 northbound (Image: Jo Harding)

The area around Attleborough was particularly badly affected. In Old and New Buckeham, motorists were forced to abandon their cars and walk home through the water, as routes in and out of the villages were blocked off by exhaust-high floodwaters.

Thousands of homes - in Poringland, Framingham Pigot and Rockland St Mary - lost power and some people in Weeting, near Thetford, were left trapped in their homes as the storm closed in.

Fakenham & Wells Times: Some motorists have been forced to abandon their carsSome motorists have been forced to abandon their cars (Image: Sonya Duncan)

Tidal surges and 60mph winds battered the already vulnerable Norfolk coast, but the county's most exposed village, Hemsby, escaped high tide without any signifcant further loss of its beach.

Some schools, including in Winfarthing and Pott Row, near King's Lynn, were forced to close due to flooding, while a number of events were cancelled.

David Hunter, CEO at Fakenham Racecourse, said: "We had no choice but to call today's race meeting off.

"The safety of horses and jockeys is paramount and in a sport like racing one can't take risks."

In Suffolk, a major incident was declared after thousands of people woke up to find the downstairs of their homes flooded.

The town of Framlingham became impassable after the Mere overflowed, with cars entirely submerged by the flooding. One care home in the area saw the floodwaters rise to the ground floor windows.

Meanwhile, Ipswich Town's game against Rotherham was cancelled at short notice due to flooding in the Yorkshire town.

The east was particularly badly hit by Storm Babet as strong winds prevailed from an east to south-easterly direction from Europe.

Fakenham & Wells Times: Homes on the cliffs at HemsbyHomes on the cliffs at Hemsby (Image: James Weeds)

The Met Office had issued a rare red weather alert in some parts of the UK, warning of ‘danger to life from fast-flowing or deep floodwater’.

In Scotland - the worst hit area of the UK - two people were killed, including a driver whose van was hit by a tree, and a 57-year-old woman died after being swept away by the River Esk.

Searches were launched to rescue people trapped in vehicles on flooded roads north of the border.

The Met Office said the rain would continue in Norfolk over the weekend but with more, drier spells on Sunday.

Fakenham & Wells Times: A fallen tree has blocked Dussindale Drive in Thorpe Saint AndrewA fallen tree has blocked Dussindale Drive in Thorpe Saint Andrew (Image: Supplied)


Two days before Storm Babet arrived, villagers in Hemsby received the news that they would not be getting government funding for a much-needed 0.8-mile rock 'berm' to protect them from coastal erosion.

It meant tensions in the community were even higher than normal as gales hit.

Those in houses teetering on the crumbling clifftops were warned they could have to leave their properties. Fakenham & Wells Times: HemsbyHemsby (Image: James Weeds)

The uncertainty in the village caused sleepless nights for Marrams homeowner Kevin Jordan.

"The house shakes when the sea crashes against the dunes, and then you're looking at tide tables, looking at wind speeds," he said.

"I’ve never known this much anxiety in all my life."