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Cumbria snow: Power disruption continues after major incident

Cumbria snow: Power disruption continues after major incident

Power has been restored to about 13,000 homes in Cumbria after a major incident was declared due to heavy snow.

Cumbria snow: Power disruption continues after major incident
Cumbria snow: Power disruption continues after major incident

People were forced to seek temporary shelter as about 200 vehicles were marooned on Saturday night.

About 800 homes were still without power on Monday, with schools closed and some roads impassable.

Parts of the UK faced “ice rink Monday” after snow refroze overnight, the RAC warned.

The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for snow and ice in eastern Scotland with road and railway disruption expected.

About a dozen schools in the north east of Scotland have been closed due to problems caused by the wintry weather.

A Met Office warning for ice in the north of England remained until midday.

Cumbria snow: Power disruption continues after major incident
Cumbria snow: Power disruption continues after major incident

A yellow rain warning has been issued for north-east England until 09:00 GMT on Tuesday.

There is also a separate warning for rain in parts of south Wales and Devon and West Somerset.

‘Worst conditions’

Electricity North West (ENWL) said the snow had caused “severe damage” to miles of overhead lines.

ENWL said engineers were “battling treacherous conditions” to restore power.

It said free hot food would be available on Monday morning at Greenodd Service Station in Ulverston for the 800 customers still affected.

Customer director Stephanie Trubshaw said: “These are without a doubt some of the worst conditions we have seen in terms of snow for several years.”

Cumbria snow: Power disruption continues after major incident
Cumbria snow: Power disruption continues after major incident

Cumbria Police urged people to take care on the roads, which were likely to be “icy and slippery”.

Some roads are impassable and drivers have been urged to check their routes before they travel.

About 45 schools were closed in areas including Kendal, Ambleside, Ulverston and Barrow-in-Furness.

A list of school closures in Westmorland and Furness and Cumberland is listed here.

RAC breakdown spokesman Simon Williams said “treacherous icy conditions” were expected in northern parts all day.

“Those who decide to drive should leave extra space behind the vehicle in front, reduce their speeds to give plenty of time to stop,” he said.

“Before setting out, it’s important to allow more time to de-ice and de-mist vehicles thoroughly.”

Police declared a major incident and a multi-agency response was launched on Saturday after the Met Office issued an amber warning for snow.

Cumbria snow: Power disruption continues after major incident
Cumbria snow: Power disruption continues after major incident

Meteorologist Tom Morgan estimated 20 to 30cm (8 to 12in) of snow fell in southern Cumbria but cautioned these were not official measurements.

Langdale Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team described it as “severe weather” and said it helped emergency services with several incidents over the weekend.

The call-outs included teams helping with a potential cardiac arrest, a suspected stroke and a suspected spinal injury caused from a sledging accident.

Cumbria’s chief fire officer described it as an “exceptionally challenging weekend” and praised the collective response from emergency services.

Drivers were forced to abandon their cars to seek warm places to spend the night.

Some sought shelter in the girl guiding centre in the village of Hawkshead after its annual Christmas fair was abandoned.

Judith Myers, who has run the Brownies there for the past 47 years, said about 45 people slept over even though there were only 32 bunks.

She told Radio 4’s Today programme: “We put an appeal out on Facebook to members of the public villagers, they brought along sleeping bags and blankets and things like that, and food. We had soup brought and bread and all sorts of things.”

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