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Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

  • The couple aged 71 and 70 were rescued after they ran out of firewood and became cut off from coal supply
  • Group of Royal Marines spotted a truck struggling in the snow at a service station so have it a push
  • Paramedics were assaulted and verbally abused as they went to tend to a patient in the snow in Birmingham
  • 53 areas across the UK are bracing themselves for flooding as Emma aftermath brings rain and snow melts
  • Two inches of snow still expected to fall in northern England and Scotland while it turns to slush in London
  • The M62 in Greater Manchester has finally re-opened, while the A46 and A66 still remain closed today
  • Rail network still battling to repair damage with hundreds of routes affected and airport’s blighted by fog
  • Fourteen deaths have been reported nationwide after Storm Emma and the Beast from the East battered UK

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An elderly couple were rescued from a 12-foot snow drift after becoming trapped in their own home as Britain battles to fight off the last of Storm Emma.

Police officers and a mountain rescue team were drafted in to save the pensioners from their secluded farm house near Edinburgh, while the rest of the UK suffers the crippling aftermath of this week’s severe weather.

The adverse weather conditions have brought out the best and worst of the nation, with communities coming together to help people stuck in the snow and bringing provisions to those stranded.

In South Wales a group of 20 marines stepped in when they saw a lorry stuck in sludge and ice at Magor Services on the M4.

But in Birmingham one man failed to enter into the spirit of things, assaulting a paramedic as she tried desperately to treat a patient in Arctic conditions.

The 49-year-old was arrested after he launched a tirade against NHS paramedic Tasha Starkey and her colleague, claiming their ambulance was ‘blocking his parking spot’.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

An elderly couple were rescued from a 12-foot snow drift after becoming trapped in their home (pictured) in West Linton, near Edinburgh on Friday, as the rest of the country battles the devastating aftermath of Storm Emma and the Beast from the East

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A group of Royal Marines helping to push a 40 ton lorry that became stuck in the snow at a service station

The heart-warming and shocking news from across the UK comes as Brits suffer further bad weather.

Storm Emma and the Beast from the East on their way out and have instead been replaced with the sludge of melted snow, deadly black ice, fog and floods,

This weekend the nation is fighting off:

  • Two Met Office yellow weather warnings are in place and a total of 53 flood have been issued nationwide
  • ‘Death trap’ patches of black ice are expected on untreated roads across central England, Wales and N Ireland
  • Snow is still falling across northern England and parts of Scotland, with up to two inches due by tonight
  • Fourteen out of 15 flood warnings are located in the south west of England with Devon and Cornwall worst hit
  • Winds of up to 50mph are also due to batter exposed parts of the south west with families boarding up homes
  • Fog is expected to fall heavily in London and south and central England tonight, threatening Britain’s airports
  • The rail network is still fighting to recover from the effects of snow and flooding with passengers asked to avoid train travel nationwide today

The couple who became stuck in West Linton, near Edinburgh were aged 70 and 71, and had run out of firewood for heating and were cut off from their coal shed by the time they were freed.

They were found to be in good health and were taken to stay with a friend, along with the two dogs.

Sergeant Davey Rourke said: ‘The house is in a dip so was slowly being buried in snow drifts up to 12ft in height. We dug down to one of the doors where there was just 5ft of snow and thankfully got them out.’

Dave Wright, from Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue, which filmed[2] the rescue, said he had not seen such weather conditions for years.

He added: ‘Quite rapidly they were getting into a dangerous situation without heat.

‘They were perfectly alright when we got them out the house, they were a little bit surprised by how the situation escalated so quickly and I don’t think they had experienced anything like that before, but this type of weather hasn’t been seen for quite some time.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

The unnamed paramedic was hurt and fellow emergency responder, Tasha Starkey (pictured), said she was threatened and verbally abused

‘We’re obviously used to working in the mountains and hills, but we haven’t seen conditions like this at ground level for a long time, it trumps 2010 and 2001 for the level of snow depth and how the drifts have been piling up.’

In Somerset at least 10 lives were saved by volunteers deployed into help people stranded overnight in snow, according to rescue co-coordinators.

Among them were four people whose car was completely buried in a snowdrift on the Mendips and two hill-walkers who had to be rescued from Exmoor.

The snow brought out the can-do spirit in many people, especially a group of twenty Royal Marines who spotted a truck in trouble at Magor Services on the M4 they jumped into action.

They saw the the lorry, which belonged to Owens Group , was struggling in the slush and ice to get going.

Parents and teachers have grouped together to clear snow from schools in an effort to ensure children can return to classes on Monday.

Kinnaird Primary School in Larbert called on volunteers to help clear the school grounds on Saturday, with about 100 people turning up. But elsewhere, good will appeared to be short supply.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Leighton Jenkins, head of policy for the Welsh Confederation of British Industry exposed the ‘snow storm’ charge on his Twitter account

An NHS paramedic was assaulted after a row over where an ambulance had been parked while tending to a patient in ‘treacherous’ sub-zero conditions.

Tasha Starkey been tending to a 999 call in Sparkhill, Birmingham, when she and a co-worker were set upon and verbally abused while trying to help a woman in her 60s with chest pain.

Police arrested a 49-year-old man on suspicion of common assault and a public order offence near to the scene at around 11.30am yesterday morning.

And stranded nurses in Wales were charged up to GBP30 to stay overnight in hospital student accommodation during Storm Emma.

Health chiefs are investigating the allegations after they were revealed by an outraged business chief.

Tina Donnelly, head of the Royal College of Nursing in Wales, said any storm charge was ‘abhorrent’ – after staff walked up to 10 miles to reach hospital.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Similar problems have ensued in Princetown, Devon where a delivery lorry got stuck today. The region faces floods today

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

The snow covering Britain (pictured in Teesside today) is set to melt, covering the country’s roads in deadly black ice, as fog and flooding bring fresh chaos to the already devastating effects of the Beast from the East and Storm Emma

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Snow of up to 5cm thick is still expected in north east England and Scotland today. A car is pictured stranded on a rural road in Hartlepool, Teesside today

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

This vehicle was left abandoned by the driver on a rural road in Dunsden Green, Oxfordshire today as thick snow remains

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Fourteen out of 15 flood warnings in place are for the south west of England. In Paignton, Devon cars are pictured half submerged in water after the snow from the Beast from the East melted

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Treacherous conditions are expected from high winds and melting snow in the south west. Yesterday waves were pictured crashing against sea walls in Torquay, Devon

Thousands of homes left without power with flood warnings in 53 areas as snow gives way to black ice and fog turning roads into ‘death traps’ in lethal aftermath of Storm Emma

Deadly black ice, floods and fog are bringing fresh chaos to Britain today adding to the devastating effects of Storm Emma and the Beast from the East.

Yellow weather warnings are in place across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, threatening to leave ‘death trap’ patches of ice on roads up and down the country.

A total of 53 flood alerts have been issued nationwide, with 14 out of 15 located in the south west of England as Devon and Cornwall prepare for excess rain, melting snow and high winds.

Around 2,000 families in Devon and Cornwall are without power, with hundreds of others suffering power cuts in mid Wales and East Yorkshire.

Snow is still expected to fall in northern England and parts of Scotland, while in London conditions are set to improve after 11am, with highs of 5C are expected.

This weekend rail operators are desperately battling to repair trains damaged in severe weather after swathes of the UK were battered by snow and storms and hundreds of services were cancelled.

Train bosses are treading with extreme caution, with no Southeastern trains in or out of London after 10.26pm tonight.

Virgin has resumed their services north of Newcastle but passengers will only be able to get on trains to Scotland until 9pm, with carriages extremely busy.

The RAC has urged people not to drive unless absolutely necessary, after the M62 was closed for more than a day leaving thousands of motorists stranded in their cars.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A gigantic snow drift is pictured covering a house in Brynmawr, South Wales as cold temperatures remain across the UK

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Thick fog is also causing problems at airports across the UK, with Heathrow planes (pictured) battling to land safely

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Snow chance of a tan today!

A huge snow drift is pictured blocking the entrance to a tanning salon in Brynmawr, South Wales

Further chaos brought by the remnants of the Beast from the East and Storm Emma comes as:

  • Snow is still expected in parts of Northern England and Scotland, with 5cm due to fall by the end of the day
  • Devon and Cornwall are bracing themselves for floods with winds of up to 50mph also expected in south west
  • A total of 53 flood alerts have been issued including one for the Thames between Putney and Teddington
  • Approximately 2,000 homes nationwide are without power with 400 in Wales and 500 in East Yorkshire

After the coldest start to March on record, which left hundreds stranded on the roads and disruption across the UK’s travel network, more cold temperatures, snow and ice is set to cause more issues.

Stunning icicles have been pictured across the north east of England, with fire services called to York City Centre this afternoon to remove ‘potentially dangerous’ ones.

Over 2,000 homes across the UK are without power, with 400 in the dark in mid-Wales and 500 in Aldbrough, East Yorkshire.

The A640 in Denshaw is still closed as the result of severe weather along with the A46 in Lincolnshire and A66 in North Yorkshire. All other road closures have been lifted.

The rail network is still battling to recover from treacherous weather conditions this week, with many services suspended or cancelled this weekend.

Trains from central London stop running at 10.26pm tonight, operator Southeastern said.

Virgin East Coast, which had suspended services from to Edinburgh, announced that it would begin running an hourly service from Newcastle to the Scottish capital on Saturday afternoon.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

That’s a lot of snow! A man is pictured with a gigantic snow drift near Shepton Mallet in Somerset this afternoon

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Huge snow drifts are still on the ground in Somerset as cold temperatures persist across parts of the south west today

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

As rail workers fight to get tracks and tunnels in a fit state for travel, the Bishopton tunnel in Renfrewshire, Scotland is covered in impressive hanging icicles

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Chasing frozen waterfalls! A beautiful frozen waterfall is pictured at Storey Arms in the Welsh Brecon Beacons today

British Transport Police has urged people not to leave trains if they become stranded or delayed after people burst out of a Southeastern train in south east London.

A statement said: ‘This week we have seen a number of incidents of people self-evacuating from trains stranded due to the exceptional weather.

‘Whilst we totally understand it isn’t pleasant being trapped on a train, you are far safer on board.

‘Self-evacuating from trains is never a good idea as it places you and others at significant risk. You are risking your life trespassing on live tracks.

‘Further delays are also inevitable if people self-evacuate as power has to be turned off for safety reasons.’

Yesterday Southeastern rail services were severely disrupted after frustrated passengers jumped from a train near Lewisham and began walking down tracks.

The company turned off power in the area for safety reasons and called for police support as it dealt with the ‘serious trespass incident’.

Frustrated passengers claimed to have been ‘stranded’ before bursting out onto the railway lines around Lewisham and St Johns, south of the capital.

Southeastern Railway said ‘several people are jumping off trains onto the tracks’ and worsening the situation as the operator requested police assistance.

The rail operator added: ‘Please remain on the trains – we’ll be able to get you moving again far quicker if you do.’

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

With freezing temperatures in the Republic of Ireland, locals are forced to push a police car out of a snow drift in Dublin

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Cold temperatures continue in Ireland today where snow is still falling and in thick layers on the ground. Pictured: A police 4×4 gets stuck on the streets of Dublin with locals desperately trying to push it out of trouble

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Snow is still falling thick and fast in parts of Dublin, Ireland today. Northern Ireland has a yellow weather warning for ice

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Snow is still causing problems in Princetown, Devon where mountains of white still line the streets but could turn to water and flood later on today with warnings for most of the south west

It had earlier told passengers not to travel, while South Western Railway wound down services early in light of the weather.

Workers were urged to cut their days short and ‘go home early’ as many London terminals started winding down services in the early evening.

People took to social media to share their outrage at London’s ‘c***’ service, branding rail providers a ‘joke’, with Twitter user @ammflyer claiming the situation at Waterloo was ‘a farce’.

Passengers also reported being stuck on a train outside London Bridge for more than three hours.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

There are 15 flood warnings in place across the UK, with the north east and north west of England told to prepare for floods

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

The south west of England, Devon and Cornwall in particular, also have flood warnings. There are a further 38 alerts in place

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

The Met Office has issued two weather warnings, one for ice and the other for snow. Snow is due to fall in Scotland, while ice covers much of south England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Today will bring more frustration for rail users as two Met Office yellow warning remains in place and 5cm of additional snow is expected in parts of the UK, with the railway between Dawlish to Dawlish Warren in Devon finally open after flooding closures of up to 36 hours.

Both Devon and Cornwall are at risk of flooding as western regions expect winds of up to 50mph, dropping to between 35mph and 40mph later today as the country recovers from the worst snow storms since 1991.

Rain and sleet are forecast to hit most parts of the UK not affected by snow, which is also set to fall in the north of England and Scotland.

Conditions in the capital will improve after 11am, when highs of 5C are expected.

Fog is also causing problems at UK airports, with passengers advised to check their flight status before they leave home. Thick fog was pictured at Heathrow this morning.

Collisions have occupied emergency services across the country, while the Army was drafted in as part of a major rescue operation to reach motorists trapped on roads by heavy snow and icy blasts.

Between five and 10 vehicles collided at around 3.45pm on Friday on the A38 westbound in Devon, Highways England said, while a further 30 vehicles became stuck in a lane due to the weather conditions after the accident between the A380 and B3344.

The Met Office said Thursday saw the temperature slump to its lowest daily maximum on record for March, at minus 5.2C at Bryn Bach Park, Tredegar.

Half a metre of snow was measured in two areas – Drumalbin, Lanarkshire, and St Athan in Glamorgan, South Wales – while strengthening winds caused blizzards and drifting snow in some parts of the country.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Brave swimmers decided to risk the freezing temperatures at London’s Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park this morning

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

One woman braves freezing temperatures in London as she goes for an Arctic dip in Hyde Park’s Serpentine Lake today

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Cold water swimmers are pictured emerging from the Arctic waters in London’s Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park today

Flood warnings were also issued in several coastal regions by the Environment Agency, which published 15 warnings and 36 alerts, predominantly for South West and North East England.

Large parts of the Irish Republic remain on red alert until 9am on Saturday, after being hit by the worst snow in 35 years.

After the re-opening of the M62 after closures for over a day, a spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: ‘After another night of officers working tirelessly in the snow alongside colleagues from partner agencies, including Highways England, the motorway (M62) was cleared and reopened at around 2am this morning.

‘The A58 between Littleborough and Ripponden and the A672 between Denshaw and Rishworth have both been reopened too.

DISABLED YORKSHIRE WOMAN HAS TO BE RESCUED BY FIRE CREWS AFTER SHE GOT STUCK IN PHARMACY

A disabled woman who took refuge from the icy conditions in a chemist after her electric wheelchair broke down was rescued by a fire crew.

Fire fighters from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue put a blanket on the ‘freezing’ woman, who was not wearing a coat, before driving her home after she became stranded in Moorends, Doncaster.

It took three fire fighters almost half an hour to push the heavy eight-battery chair a quarter of a mile through ice and snow to her home.

Daz Robertson, who drove her back, said the woman had been out doing some errands, but could not use her keys to get into the house when she returned because her fingers were too cold.

She went out on the chair to seek help, which was when the batteries went flat and she was taken in by a chemist, which stayed open late to look after her as darkness fell.

Thorne Blue Watch attended after police, who were initially called, were unable to get to the lady, at 5.38pm on Thursday.

Mr Robertson, station manager of Thorne fire station, said: ‘I thought, I’ll go push her back myself, not wanting to tie an appliance up.

‘I tried pushing it myself and it was more of a wheelchair than I thought it would be.

‘It was quite heavy and with the occupant in it and the conditions I thought I’m not going to be able to manage this on my own.’

The father-of-two added: ‘She was a bit stressed, I managed to calm her down … when we explained what we were doing and managed to get her home she really appreciated it.’

The team made sure she was OK, checked her smoke alarms were working and put her shopping away before they left the house.

A spokesman from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said: ‘We are proud of the help given by these fire fighters who came to the aid of a vulnerable member of the public – without their swift intervention her safety would have been at risk.’

‘We would like to thank members of the public for their patience whilst work on these roads was carried out.

‘Please continue to take the weather into account when planning your journeys and drive carefully.’

Northumbria Police said the A1 was also open again.

The force posted on Twitter: ‘The A1 is now open, however the A697 southbound between the Rothbury turn off and Stannington is down to one lane due to snow drifts.

‘We are working on getting the area cleared and back to two lanes but expect delays. Please drive with care and only if essential.’

Further south, the Highways Agency said the A66 cross-Pennine route remained shut between the A1M at Scotch Corner to the A685 at Brough.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

People hoping to escape the Beast from the East with a trip abroad this weekend are being advised to check their flight status before leaving for the airport. A British Airways plane is pictured coming into land in thick fog at Heathrow this morning

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

As Storm Emma looms across the UK thick fog set in. Pictured are planes coming into land at Heathrow Aiport, west London

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Commuters at London Bridge were confronted with a sign proclaiming a ‘SNOWMAGEDDON’ had hit the capital as rail users were left struggling to get home

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Commuters took to the tracks in Lewisham as people were left furious at rail company performance in light of the adverse weather conditions

Speaking to MailOnline, a ‘very angry, cold and frustrated train customer’ said a train was still stranded outside London Bridge at 8pm yesterday after first getting stuck at 5.55pm.

Passengers jumped onto the tracks in anger, forcing the station to power down electricity.

‘It’s cold and there’s only one toilet working on the train,’ the passenger said. ‘This is just the worst treatment and an absolutely inhumane way of treating human beings.’

There were fears of major problems at London Euston last night – which was evacuated after a small fire – as well as Paddington station as the weather deteriorates. Commuters using those stations as well as King’s Cross and Liverpool Street were urged to head home as soon as possible – even if it meant cutting short their working day.

Isabella Light said she was stuck on a train with no power 10 hours after she left London Waterloo for Weymouth yesterday after 50 people were stranded on board another train from the London station to Dorset for 15 hours.

Hundreds of drivers and train passengers were left stranded overnight as extreme weather[3] continued to wreak havoc with roads brought to a standstill by blizzards.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

On the M62 on Thursday thousands were stranded in their vehicles overnight, as gales reached 90mph over the Rakewood Viaduct, Rochdale. The Army was drafted in to save people, but around 200 were still believed to be trapped last night, after road authorities closed the motorway ‘indefinitely’.

Eight vehicles crashed on the A38 westbound in Devon as drivers struggled to battle through the adverse weather conditions, according to Highways England.

Hospitals cancelled operations, with doctors still battling to visit vulnerable patients, as the NHS struggles to deal with the fallout from the conditions.

Ambulance services are begging the public to help with their 4x4s.

Some 4,000 properties in Wales and South West England were left without power this morning, along with 5,000 in Derbyshire – while Kent Police received an astonishing 100 calls to crashes in the space of just 30 minutes.

Fifteen flood warnings are in place across the UK with 38 further alerts, including one for the River Thames in London between Putney Bridge and Teddington Weir.

Two police forces declared ‘major incidents’ yesterday. The South Central Ambulance Service appealed for help from 4×4 owners to move its staff. That comes as:

South West England has been particularly badly hit after facing an unprecedented Met Office[4] red warning for snow, with Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust declaring an ‘internal critical incident’ yesterday.

Officials at the trust have postponed all outpatient and planned routine surgery and diagnostic appointments, and prioritised all available staff to emergency services as they paid to tribute to their ‘outstanding’ team.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

People were seen jumping on the tracks at St Johns in south-east London last night in scenes similar to those at Lewisham and London Bridge

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Commuters at London Bridge Station faced heading home in the freezing cold yesterday after being told to leave work after heavy snow in the capital

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Drivers were seen struggling to push their cars through snow last night during a blizzard in Dublin as Ireland also suffered freezing temperatures

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Philip Brown who endured more than 15 hours on a train with 50 people on board which became stuck overnight in the snow

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

London Underground trains powered through the snow yesterday in North West London as other stations in the capital announced they were closing

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Eight cars reportedly crashed on the A38 yesterday with a forty-car pile-up hitting the road in Devon as well

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A man walks through snowy Green Park in London yesterday as heavy snow bore down on the capital, sparking fears for commuters and rail firms about services

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Icicles hang from the fountains in Trafalgar Square, in central London, as Storm Emma continues to batter the nation

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

An aerial view of a snow covered Cramlington in Northumberland on Friday as the severe weather conditions continue

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A woman pushes a pram across Portobello Road in Notting Hill, West London, during snowy weather on Friday

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Snow falls on people as they walk through Trafalgar Square in London. Heavy snow fall and sub-zero temperatures have hit Britain with more heavy snow expected in the coming days

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Two men and a woman in their winter coats walk through the snow on Friday afternoon as a blizzard hits Central London

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A woman walks through the snow as Central London is hit by snow yesterday, with the severe weather continuing to hit

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

The Severn Bridge is empty of cars and down to one lane in both directions as snow continues to fall in South Wales

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Motorists dig out a car which drove into a snow drift blocking a road in Teesdale, County Durham, on Friday morning

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A DFDS ferry navigates the choppy waters of the North Sea in Tynemouth, North Tyneside, on Friday afternoon

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

This car is going nowhere in Tower Hamlets, east London, after being turned into a block of ice by a burst water pipe

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

The wreckage of a bus and van which collided early yesterday morning in Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire, is pictured

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Mass devastation at Holyhead Marina in North Wales where up to 60 boats have been wrecked after the storm hit overnight

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

The plunge pool of England’s highest waterfall High Force in Teesdale, County Durham, is frozen for the first time since 1929

The Met Office has two weather warnings in place [5]covering almost the entire country today – one for ice, stretching across the south of England, Wales and Northern Ireland – and the other for snow, warning northern England and Scotland to prepare for more powder.

Snow depths reached half a metre (1ft 8in) in Drumalbin, Lanarkshire and St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales.

Around 40cm (1ft 4in) of snow was measured in Bishopton, Renfrewshire and Spadeadam, Cumbria.

Passengers were stranded overnight on the 5.30pm South Western Railway service from London Waterloo to Poole in Dorset last night at Brockenhurst in the New Forest on a train that allegedly had no heating.

Hampshire Police said it had called in the military to help evacuate people from the A31, while Avon and Somerset Constabulary said about 100 vehicles had become stuck on the A303 at Ilminster.

Dave Webb, 37, from Wakefield, told how he had been on the motorway for ten hours.

‘We came to a halt at about 5.30pm last night and have been here since,’ he said. ‘There hasn’t been any snow since about 6.30pm but the wind is pretty strong and gusting.’

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A woman slips while carrying shopping in the snow on Main Street in Alexandria, West Dumbartonshire yesterday morning

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

An aerial view of snow-covered houses at Crewkerne in Somerset yesterday that were left covered in snow

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Snow drifts around Leamington Spa in Warwickshire where many commuters were forced to work from home yesterday

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Cars and lorries on AI looking northbound between Morpeth and Alnwick yesterday with more snow expected today

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Snow drifts around the Kent village of Harvel have completely blocked the area, with rescue vehicles unable to get in

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Three men have a snow fight outside the Bank of England in London yesterday as the capital faces severe weather conditions

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A man digs a car out of a snow drift in Penarth, near Cardiff, as the UK continues to be hit by severe weather conditions

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Cars buried in snow in Naas County Kildare.

The powder is predicted to melt and cause deadly black ice in Ireland today

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Brynmawr, a market town in Blaenau Gwent, South Wales, has been left with an extraordinary covering of snow from Friday

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Joe Butterfield looks at his car covered in snow in County Durham this morning as the severe weather continues

Eleanor Kelly, 19, said local residents in Milnrow, Rochdale, had been taking hot drinks, food and blankets to those stuck on the carriageway – including to a father with a baby and toddler in the car.

She said: ‘We’ve been trying to get to as many people as we can in about a mile radius from where we can get to the carriageway.’

The local community centre, Butterworth Hall, was also opened to provide refuge for stranded motorists overnight.

But Rochdale Council tweeted: ‘Heard reports someone in a grey Transit-type van is trying to cash-in on people stranded in traffic near the M62 motorway by selling cups of tea for GBP1.

Police get 999 call about DUCK stranded in Watford snow and ice

Police received a 999 call from a man who was concerned about a duck in a car park in Watford in the ice and snow.

The man called Herts police early on Friday morning to say he was worried about the bird’s welfare due to the cold weather.

The call handler informed the man that this was not a police matter and he should not be calling 999. He was advised to contact the RSPCA about his concerns.

Superintendent Mike Trotman from the Constabulary’s Force Control Room (FCR) said: ‘This is an example of the emergency 999 number being used for completely the wrong reason.

‘While it is admirable that the man was concerned for the duck, by calling 999 he could have delayed getting help to those truly in need of assistance and facing an emergency situation.

‘Our call handlers are always busy dealing with both emergency 999 and non-emergency 101 calls, as well as online reports and contact from the public via our webchat facility so it is really important that people only contact us for the right reasons.’

‘Please be aware these are not council staff and we (and volunteers) are handing out drinks for free where we are able to.’

Thames Valley Police’s roads policing unit said they had received reports of multiple collisions on the M40 between junctions 3 and 2, and warned of delays.

The military has helped police rescue hundreds of motorists stranded by heavy snow on the A31 in Hampshire. Police declared a ‘major incident’ after the major route connecting Hampshire and Dorset through the New Forest became impassable in both directions.

Rest centres were set up for those stuck and food and drink brought to those unable to leave their vehicles.

Ryan Butler posted on Twitter: ‘You’re all doing an amazing job… took me best part of 9 hours from Cadnam to Bournemouth but home safe and sound now.

Thank you for all your hard work.’

Chels wrote: ‘Locals coming to assist with snacks and hot drinks! Troopers in these conditions.’ The road was declared open again just before 6am today but police urged motorists to avoid the area.

A Hampshire police spokesman said: ‘The A31 is moving again now but we would urge drivers to avoid that area while we seek to clear the trapped traffic and recover the abandoned vehicles.

‘An amber weather warning for snow, freezing rain and high winds is still in place across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight so once again, we advise against all essential travel.’

Those stuck on the road have been urged to call 101 if they have a medical condition or are running out of fuel, or to call 999 in an emergency.

Prime Minister Theresa May has thanked the emergency services and hospital staff for their work as cold weather brought some parts of the country to a standstill over night.

‘In the current bad weather, I want say thank you to everyone going the extra mile to keep our country moving – and to keep us safe,’ the Prime Minister posted on Twitter.

‘Thank you to NHS staff and care workers, the police and the armed forces, and all those working to keep our vital public services going.’

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

One woman decided against wrapping up warm when she went for a jog at Richmond Park in South West London yesterday

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

An aerial view of a snow covered Morpeth in Northumberland as the severe weather conditions continue today

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Members of the public make their way through the deep snow today that has fallen in Alexandria, West Dumbartonshire

EMERGENCY FUNDING DISHED OUT TO SCOTTISH COUNCILS TO COPE WITH SEVERE WEATHER

An emergency funding scheme has been opened for local authorities in the wake of the Beast from the East.

The Scottish Government said it will consider applications for financial assistance through the Bellwin Scheme after Borders Council requested help.

The discretionary fund is designed to help councils who face an undue financial burden as a result of large-scale emergencies.

It was recently activated in the wake of flooding by Storm Frank at the start of 2017, with millions of pounds given to repair damage in the Borders and Aberdeenshire.

It is now open for applications from all councils impacted by recent severe weather events, or those at risk from flooding as the snow melts.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said: ‘We are committed to helping our communities remain resilient and this support will help local councils deal with any immediate and unforeseen costs resulting from the recent heavy snow falls and ongoing cold weather.

‘Although we expect to have seen the worst of the severe weather, we’re aware there remains a flooding risk in some areas as the snow melts.

‘The Scottish Government has been holding regular meetings of the Scottish Government’s Resilience Room (SGoRR) to monitor the situation and I would urge people continue to take care and to check for the latest guidance from Police Scotland throughout the day.’

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling described the weather as ‘exceptional circumstances’ for the UK and said that people stranded on roads and trains had had a ‘tough night’.

He told Sky News: ‘In the case of the train on the south coast – we need to do everything we can to resolve that situation as quickly as possible.

‘This is particularly unusual weather, it’s something that happens very rarely in this country.’

He added that there is a ‘huge’ stockpile of salt and that gritters have been out across the UK’s roads.

Drivers have reported being stuck for 17 hours on the A303 between Ilminster in Somerset and Mere in Wiltshire.

Over 100 cars and lorries were trapped on the stretch of road overnight due to a gritter getting stuck in the snow after it ‘slid sideways’, one driver said. Thomas Hamilton, a 36-year-old sales director, was heading from his home in London to a friend’s farm when he got caught in the queue.

‘I left London at 6pm.

We came to a standstill at the start of the A303 around midnight. There were lorries and cars in both lanes trying to get up the hill. We drove past a burned-out car, then we didn’t move until 9:30am.’

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Devon County Council tweeted this picture of a gritter on its side on the A379 on Labrador Bends near Shaldon yesterday

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Pictured: Shire horses in the snow on Friday at Slate Meadow in Wooburn Green, Buckinghamshire

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Boats have been destroyed at Holyhead Marine in North Wales today after strong winds hit the country overnight

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Holyhead Marina was a scene of devastation this morning after strong winds caused extensive damage to the boats

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Motorists dig out a car which drove into a snow drift blocking a road in Teesdale, County Durham, yesterday morning

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Snow falls on St Paul’s Cathedral and the City of London, creating a white landscape across the city yesterday

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Joe Butterfield of the High Force Hotel wades through deep snow blocking the entrance to his County Durham business yesterday

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A woman braves the cold to swim at Parliament Lido in North London on Friday despite the freezing conditions

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Members of the Household Cavalry trot through Horse Guards Parade during cold weather in London yesterday

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Landlord Angus Wharton clears snow outside the Ye Olde Black Ladd pub yesterday in Shaw, Greater Manchester

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Heavy snowfall overnight has left the Derbyshire countryside under more than a foot of the white stuff in places

Mr Hamilton, who was stuck only 10 miles from his destination, said he moved for the first time in hours this morning after ‘a soldier got out in a hi-vis jacket with another good Samaritan and moved lorries’.

Panicked mother only found out her daughter had flipped her car on a treacherous road after police tweeted a grinning SELFIE in front of the wreck

A mother only found out her daughter had flipped her car on a treacherous road after police tweeted a grinning selfie in front of the crash site.

The two officers from Salisbury Police, which is part of Wiltshire Police, were pictured in front of an overturned car on a snowy road.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

The two officers from Salisbury Police were pictured in front of an overturned car

The image was captioned: ‘Some photos just don’t need any words.

Many warnings to drive safely today and thankfully nobody hurt in this incident.’

But Georgia Oak replied: ‘It’s my car and yes I am OK. But this is how my mum found out I was in a crash. I really appreciate how they helped and how quick they were to be there.’

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Georgia Oak said the Facebook post was ‘how my mum found out I was in a crash’

In response, the force said: ‘I’m sorry you Mum found out this way, but we were careful to not identify you or your car in this post and emphasise that nobody was hurt.

Cars can be replaced: people can’t.

‘As you will understand, the photo was not taken until they had dealt with the emergency and has been used to highlight the dangers on the roads in these conditions.

‘The post has helped circulate the message of safety quickly – social media used positively to get the message out. If it prevents someone getting hurt in similar circumstances then it was worth it. I hope you get the support from your insurance and are safely back on the road soon.’

And Ms Oak then added: ‘Thank you for your response.

She was just shocked. Thank you for your help and being there so quickly.’

But Lou-lou Jonesy also replied to the initial post, saying: ‘For most people it would be very inappropriate to take selfies at work. Why do police feel the need to constantly take photos of themselves?’

She added: ‘The message just tells us that Police on duty are taking selfies.

A pic of the car would have been enough. So glad the young lady is safe.’

Kev Smith added: ‘Attention seeking?!’ – and the force replied: ‘Attention seeking? Yes, its about the message and not the people.’

Kath Spreadbury defended the force, saying: ‘Can our police do nothing right?

They’re dammed if they help and their dammed if they don’t. Just let them do their job and stop criticising, you may need them yourself one day.’

Wiltshire Council has described the traffic as a ‘major incident’ and urged people not to travel in the area.

Avon and Somerset Police say there are 20 significant incidents across the force area, with people stranded in snow drifts.

Police are ‘as a matter of urgency’ rescuing people from two vehicles, one on Dunkery Beacon in west Somerset and one at Burrington Combe in north Somerset.

The force, along with partner agencies, is also continuing to help motorists stranded on the A303, including a bus.

Around 40 people travelling from London were stuck overnight, including a baby, people requiring medication, elderly and vulnerable people.

Butlins has confirmed that the UK Open darts competition this weekend in Minehead will be closed to the public, police said.

The military has also been brought in to assist clearing traffic as the motorway remains closed from junction 20 at Rochdale to junction 24 at Huddersfield.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: ‘The strong winds will continue throughout the day and we ask that you don’t travel unless it is essential. We are aware of drivers in the surrounding area who have been stranded for some hours due to snow and wind.

‘The military have been deployed to support us and our partners in our efforts to clear the roads and get people to safety.

We are filtering traffic off the M62 at junction 20 and diversions are in place although traffic is severely congested.’

Police say wind speeds over the Rakewood Viaduct in Greater Manchester have reached 90mph.

The North West Motorway Police tweeted: ‘J21-22 M62 the wind speeds over Rakewood are 90mph that is the reason vehicles cannot continue as it would be a risk to life.’

Assistant Chief Constable Robert Potts, of Greater Manchester Police, told reporters that at one point some 3,500 vehicles were stuck on the M62 last night. Some 200 vehicles remained there overnight before they were brought off the motorway this morning, he added.

A number of crashes after been reported on the M20 in Kent after the fire service warned of ‘black ice’ on the carriageways.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service said they were in attendance at two collisions – one between junctions seven and eight involving six vehicles and another between junctions three and four involving eight vehicles, in which a vehicle caught fire.

One driver who did not wish to be named said they had witnessed three crashes on the road in a short space of time, and saw a number of cars that appeared to have skidded on the road.

Efforts to keep Devon’s roads clear of ice were hampered when a gritter overturned on the A379 on Labrador Bends near Shaldon.

Devon County Council posted a photograph of the scene on Twitter, stating: ‘It’s still really icy out there!’ It added: ‘Fortunately everyone unharmed but we’re a gritter down until it can be recovered.’

A Network Rail spokesman said: ‘Owing to the continued extreme weather conditions we are asking people not to travel across the South Western Railway network today unless absolutely essential.

‘Services across the route will also be stopping early this evening.

‘We thank passengers for their patience as we manage these extreme conditions and anyone who has to travel today should check National Rail and South Western Railway websites.’

Rail passengers were trapped in frosty carriages overnight after a broken-down train caused tailbacks on the rest of the tracks.

South Western Railway wrote on Twitter that a service had got into trouble near Christchurch, Dorset, requiring a ‘rescue train’ to be sent to it.

Commuters reported being stranded in carriages with failing electricity and fluctuating temperatures.

Shane White was stuck on the 4.30pm service from Cardiff to Bournemouth until shortly before 8am this morning.

He wrote on Twitter: ‘All sorts of problem all due to ice and snowy, apparently one train near Christchurch has welded itself to the track trying to move, obviously very high voltage going through these lines, but little current flow due to the ice build up.

‘They have been trying all night to come up with a solution but trains have ran out of battery power etc, there was some rain that has frozen points and other electrical connections, with all the roads block and vehicle snowed in there is no road transport available.’

Other services which were stuck overnight reportedly included an early evening train from London Waterloo to Weymouth, which ground to a halt outside New Milton.

South Western Railway passenger ‘Ian R’, who caught the 8.30pm train from Woking in Surrey to Bournemouth in Dorset, suffered horrendous overnight delays after expecting a journey time of an hour and a half.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

David Webb (left) and his wife Louise Bath, from Edinburgh, ski around St Margaret’s Loch in Holyrood Park yesterday

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Further snowfall covers the landscape in Little Venice, West London, yesterday as the UK is hit by extreme weather conditions

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A woman carries her shopping on sledges in Larbert, near Falkirk, as roads and railways have been rendered impassable

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Firefighters help the occupants of a home after they dug their way into a property in Ebbw Vale, South Wales, yesterday

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Snow on Bournemouth beach in Dorset, as the severe weather conditions continue for most of the country

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

People push a car stuck in a snow drift on the A904 between Newton and South Queensferry in West Lothian yesterday

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

People walk through Horse Guards Parade in London yesterday, with the London Eye visible in the background

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Snowdrifts caused by strong winds reach up to 3ft high in Penarth, near Cardiff, yesterday morning amid the severe weather

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Giant waves crash over Souter Lighthouse at South Shields in Tynemouth on the North East coast of England yesterday

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Two snow plough drivers rescued of two pregnant ewes spotted buried up to their eyes in snow in Teesdale, County Durham

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A car almost fully submerged by a snow drift near Forest-in-Teesdale in County Durham yesterday morning with conditions continuing to be bad today

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Canal boats are frozen into position in Birmingham’s canal system as cold temperatures continue nationwide today

He told MailOnline at 6am: ‘Outside Southampton informed of broken down train causing a delay. Arrived in Southampton Station to await instructions from their control centre if it was safe to proceed.

Military called in to help hospitals and medics in bad weather

The military has been drafted to help hospitals and medics in the Midlands and West Country.

Devon and Cornwall NHS and Shropshire NHS have both asked for assistance, which began at 6am today.

The Army has sent 10 4×4 vehicles and 20 troops to Shropshire while the Royal Marines have deployed the same resources in Devon and Cornwall.

The military has also been brought in to assist clearing traffic from the M62 in Greater Manchester as the motorway remains closed from junction 20 at Rochdale to junction 24 at Huddersfield.

An Ministry of Defence spokesman said: ‘The MoD helps in cases of extreme weather when we receive a request from our civilian authority colleagues.

‘There are three UK standby battalions held at high readiness to respond to UK contingencies and emergencies, including support to local authorities.

‘We have the right people with the right training to respond to a range of contingencies.’

‘Since then the exasperated driver apologises for delay as he is unable to contact the control centre.

They are not answering the phones. He has done a good job but let down like us all.

‘We have now been stopped for eight hours and no deep snow or heavy frost or anything. We understand at least three trains are involved.

One of which is now attached to our train.’

He added that the driver ‘arranged limited supplies of water in the night and a short while ago offer of free hot drink was made; nothing about food’.

Another South Western Railway passenger, Danielle Bennett, got in touch with MailOnline at 1.30am this morning to say she started her journey from London to Poole at 7pm last night – and was stuck at Southampton.

She said: ‘8pm coach from Victoria coach station was cancelled. Managed to get a train ticket from Clapham junction to Poole for the 9.12pm train… got the delayed 7.12pm train at 9.05pm, got kicked off at Southampton central at 10.45pm and we were told to change to platform one.

‘Two and a half hours later we are still sat on the track at Southampton Central with no updates and no food trolley with drinks etc being supplied to all the stranded people!

‘I’ve seen a guard twice in the two and a half hours of being here, there were no staff on the platform or service desk, and as there were no updates on the situation, I had to go and search for someone to ask.

‘At this rate it looks like we’re going to be here until sunrise. South Western Railway are not dealing with the situation well at all!

No staff on hand, no food or drinks being offered, and no preparation has been made when they knew this weather was coming! The majority of Europe seem to be able to manage these weather conditions, why is it so hard for the UK?! It’s embarrassing!’

Passenger Paula Baker told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that she had been stuck on South Western Railways train for 15 hours, trying to get to Weymouth in Dorset.

She said: ‘It normally takes two hours and I was going to be getting off at Weymouth and we literally ground to a halt with no heating.

We’ve still not got heating. It’s daylight now and that’s the light we’ve got on the carriage and there’s about 55 passengers on the train.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Shouri the Amur tiger felt right at home in the freezing snow at the Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire today

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Shire horses in the snow in Slate Meadow in Wooburn Green, Buckinghamshire, today

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Spot the hippo appears to be out of his comfort zone at the Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire today

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Summerhill Force in Teesdale, County Durham, is a cascade of icicles this morning as the bitter weather continues

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Snow drifts around Leamington Spa in Warwickshire today where many commuters have chosen to stay at home

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

People sled in the snow at Farnborough in Hampshire today as the Met Office issued more weather warnings

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

People carry snowboards in Clifton, Bristol, this morning where a blanket of snow has covered the city overnight

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

The streets are deserted and shops and businesses remain closed on Eastern Avenue in Cardiff this morning

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Children sledge on Hampstead Heath in North West London today as many youngsters make the most of the snow

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Traffic queuing to leave the M62 motorway in Greater Manchester today ahead of junction 24 after the road was closed

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Traffic queues in the snow in Cornwall overnight as drivers battle to get through the severe weather hitting Britain

‘We’ve had no toilet facilities, no heating and no information for 13 odd hours. We’ve had passengers threatening to walk off the train.

The driver locked himself in his carriage. The guard keeps coming out to apologise but we’ve had no information about what’s going on.

Weather warnings for Britain until Monday

TODAY

Yellow (‘be aware’)

  • Snow for Scotland and Northern England (0.05am-23.55pm)
  • Ice for England, Wales and Northern Ireland (0.05am-9am)

SUNDAY

Yellow (‘be aware’)

  • Snow and ice for eastern Scotland (0.05am-23.55pm)

MONDAY

Yellow (‘be aware’)

  • Snow and ice for eastern Scotland (0.05am-23.55pm)

‘We moved a foot (at 2.30am) and stopped again and that’s where we’ve been. We’ve keep saying ‘has anybody rung anybody?

They just said ‘no, we’ve been speaking to the controllers and we’re just really sorry’ and that’s all we’ve had.

‘(The driver) didn’t come out to speak to us. Somebody asked for the driver to come out and explain to everyone what was going on and that wasn’t forthcoming.

‘Earlier on we put some Madonna on so we were dancing to that trying to keep warm. We’ve been chatting and getting to know each other as it’s been too cold to sleep.

But everybody now is tired, hungry, fed up and just wants to get out and go into somewhere warm.’

South Western Railway wrote on its website: ‘Due to multiple broken-down trains between Weymouth and Southampton Central, all lines are blocked.

‘Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled, delayed or revised at short notice. All stations between Bournemouth and Weymouth will not be served. Disruption is expected until 12:00 02/03.

‘Because of the severe weather conditions, multiple trains have broken down between Weymouth and Bournemouth.

All lines between these stations are currently blocked. Trains are stuck in a queue behind the defective trains and are unable to move.

‘We are in the process of trying to move the broken-down trains and will update you when we have further information. Emergency rail replacement is extremely limited in the area due to severe weather, but we are doing our best to help you complete your journey.’

A total of five trains were stranded overnight on the route between London and Weymouth, Network Rail said.

A spokesman said: ‘We’d like to apologise to passengers trapped on trains overnight on the South Western Railway network due to extreme weather.

‘We worked closely with South Western Railway and the emergency services through the night who responded to the most vulnerable passengers.

‘All passengers were removed from trains earlier this morning, but the ongoing extreme weather meant emergency services were not able to evacuate people sooner.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Riders from Lawney Hill Racing take their horses out today on the all-weather gallops in Tetsworth, Oxfordshire

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Trainer Lawney Hill poses for a photograph as she wears tights over her face to keep out the cold in Tetsworth today

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

An abandoned car near Blackstone Edge in the Pennines today as Britain is hit by continuing severe weather

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A dog stomps through the snow in Kirkliston, West Lothian, today as the bad conditions cause problems over the UK

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Adam Suthers digs out a car stuck in the snow in Ripponden, Yorkshire, as the UK continues to battle the weather

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Frozen canals in Birmingham city centre today, as much of the country has suffered from snowfall and freezing conditions

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Network Rail issued this photo of a snow plough at Carstairs station on the West Coast Main Line this morning

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A huge icicle in the tunnel near Balcombe station in West Sussex, which has caused problems for train services

‘We are asking people not to travel across the South Western Railway network today unless absolutely essential.

Services across the route will also be stopping early this evening.’

A South Western Railway spokesman later added: ‘The forecast this afternoon is for further severe snow and high winds. We are urging you not to attempt to travel.

‘If you have already travelled, please return as early as possible. Our service will be closing down early today.

We will confirm what time trains will stop running on our network as soon as we can.’

Commuter Philip Brown has spoken of how he endured more than 15 hours on a train with 50 people on board which became stuck overnight in the snow.

The 49-year-old, who was travelling from London Waterloo to Bournemouth, Dorset, when the train became stuck in the New Forest, said: ‘I didn’t have any food or water, there were no buffet facilities on board, the train lost power and we lost heating and lights.

Coastal rail line is closed after the sea wall is breached

The rail line at Dawlish on the south Devon coast has been closed after the sea wall was breached.

Flooding and debris blocked the line after up to 50ft (15m) of fencing and stones were displaced, Network Rail said.

A ‘substantial amount’ of ballast has also been washed across the track along 150 metres of the railway.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Trains have been suspended after the sea wall at Dawlish on the Devon coast was ‘significantly damaged’ by the storm

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Workers are trying to recover the train line at Dawlish in Devon after it was battered by strong waves and severe conditions

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Dawlish train station in Devon has been left flooded today as the severe weather conditions continue across the country

Trains are unable to run along the route, which suffered severe damage after the sea wall collapsed during storms in 2014.

A Network Rail spokesman said: ‘There is no structural damage to the sea wall, and the integrity of the railway itself has not been damaged, which is testimony to the quality of the strengthening works Network Rail delivered in 2014.’

No services will operate on the route on Friday.

Plymouth Sutton and Devonport Labour MP Luke Pollard described the closure of the line as ‘bad for our local economy’ and accused the Government of making ‘vague promises of jam tomorrow’ in the South West rail strategy.

He added: ‘No firm commitment to new money – simply not good enough.’

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A photo released by Network Rail after an inspection of the track at Dawlish which was damaged by Storm Emma today

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Following visual inspections today, Network Rail confirmed that the railway sustained damage last night as a result of Storm Emma

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

There is no structural damage to the sea wall, and the integrity of the railway itself has not been damaged, Network Rail said

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A photo released by Network Rail after an inspection of the track at Dawlish which was damaged by Storm Emma today

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said on Wednesday that avoiding a repeat of the 2014 disruption at Dawlish ‘has been a key priority’ since he began his role.

The Government has previously provided GBP15 million for Network Rail to design a ‘long-lasting solution to this problem’ in addition to the GBP40 million spent by Network Rail to repair the damage caused four years ago.

Jon Shaw, transport expert and head of geography at the University of Plymouth, said: ‘The latest damage to the sea wall is a timely reminder to the Transport Secretary that work to improve the quality and resilience of our transport network here in the South West is of the highest priority.’

‘I couldn’t tell you how cold it was but it was cold enough to prevent you from sleeping. People were taking it in their stride although one guy was quite agitated. People were wrapping jumpers round their legs trying to keep warm.’

South Western Railway said multiple incidents were affecting its services, warning that trains may be cancelled or severely delayed, with disruption expected until the end of the day.

It told passengers: ‘We cannot guarantee to get you to your destination this afternoon.’

Rail operator Southeastern urged passengers not to travel anywhere on its network until further notice.

A spokesman said: ‘We are currently experiencing severe difficulties with the train service across our entire network as a result of freezing rain and ice forming on conductor rails, which our trains use to pick up power.

‘We are currently advising passengers not to travel. This applies to all Southeastern routes – metro, mainline and high speed.

‘We are working to bring services back into operation as soon as possible. We will provide further updates as soon as possible.’

Rail travellers have also been delayed after push-button train doors froze up.

A driver on a London Northwestern service apologised to passengers travelling between London and Tring, Hertfordshire.

He said cold weather had caused the opening mechanisms on some doors to freeze. The driver delayed departures from stations to give passengers time to find a door which was working.

Virgin Trains said it will not run any cross-border trains between England and Scotland today. No East Coast services will operate north of Newcastle, and no trains will run on the West Coast between Carlisle and Scotland.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A farm house in the snow next to the M62 in Kirklees, West Yorkshire after a section of the motorway was closed

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Sarah Harker from Murton in Cumbria opened her front door to a wall of snow today (left).

Pictured (right) is Bristol today

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

People walk along the road after motorists became stranded on the snow-blanketed A31 towards heading towards Dorset

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

The scene this morning where up to 100 cars were stuck on the A303 in Ilminster, Somerset, overnight

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

People got out of their vehicles on the A38 in Devon as they became stranded overnight due to the snow

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Hundreds of motorists have spent the night in their cars or in rescue centres after the issues on the A303 in Ilminster

A Virgin Trains spokesman said: ‘We are working hard to look after our customers in whatever way we can and ticket restrictions on both routes have been lifted today, so customers who do decide to travel can do so on any service, but are advised to check our websites for the most up to date information before going to the station.’

Car is left trapped in a block of ice after water pipe bursts on street

This Londoner won’t be able to drive to work today – because their car was trapped in a block of ice.

The frozen motor was left unidentifiable after being turned into a block of ice by a burst water pipe.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Workers were scrambled this morning to repair the pipe, but the car, in Tower Hamlets, East London, is unlikely to get thawed for a few days.

Tower Hamlets Police offered their ‘deepest sympathy’ to the driver on Twitter.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Traffic wardens will struggle to ticket the car, which has been stuck for two days.

Twitter user @baoigheallain said: ‘The lengths some owners will go to to prevent a parking officer sticking a ticket to their windscreens.’

A red weather warning – the second in 24 hours – expired at 2am, but amber warnings for snow are still in place for much of Scotland, the North East of England, and parts of Northern Ireland, running until 10am, and for wind and snow in south western parts of the UK until 8am.

Up to 50cm of snow could fall over parts of Dartmoor, Exmoor and south east Wales.

Yellow warnings for snow are also in place for vast swathes of the country for the whole day, while a yellow warning for wind covers the North East of England and Wales until midday.

Temperatures will once again be below freezing for many parts of the UK during the day, with strong winds making it feel even chillier.

Met Office meteorologist Steven Keates said: ‘We are not out of the woods yet. There’s further snow to come, as well as a wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain.

‘Even parts of London and the South East are not immune to seeing more snow through the afternoon – not as much as yesterday, but still enough to cause further disruption.’

All 279 schools in Cornwall have been closed as the county deals with potential snow, ice and flooding.

Devon and Cornwall Police have urged people to avoid all travel unless essential.

Trees have fallen in Gweek and Praze, with snow drifts and abandoned vehicles blocking roads, and emergency services are dealing with reports of flooding in the Lizard area.

Five properties have flooded in Porthallow, due to high tide, strong winds and run off from melting snow.

Mourners are being asked to check that funerals have not been re-arranged, though Penmount Crematorium is operational.

In Northern Ireland almost 400 schools are closed. Traffic on the roads was disrupted.

Mourne Mountain Rescue has been helping essential staff reach Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry, Co Down.

Airports are open but passengers have been advised to contact their airlines.

The majority of schools in Wales are closed as well as many libraries and other council buildings and services.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Early morning bathers brave the cold to swim at Hampstead Heath ponds in North West London this morning

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Local worker Billy Black clears heavy snow for residents this morning in Alexandria, West Dumbartonshire

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A car drives past drifting snow in a country lane in Bath today as much of the UK was brought to a standstill

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A man jumps into the Hampstead Heath ponds on a very chilly day in North West London this morning

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A freezing morning as the ice waves roll in on Man ‘o’ War Bay and Durdle Door on the Jurassic coast in Dorset today

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Passengers tried to get some sleep under space blankets after being stuck on the train from Waterloo to Poole overnight

Of the country’s 22 councils, 12 are reporting that all schools in their areas are closed while information on the websites of the remaining 10 show hundreds of further school closures.

Police chief says too many motorists are ignoring warnings

Too many drivers are ignoring pleas to stay off roads hit by severe weather, a senior police officer has warned.

Thousands of motorists have been stranded across the UK this week due to vehicles being unable to cope with the blast of cold, snow and ice.

Chief Inspector Adrian Leisk, head of roads policing across Devon, Cornwall and Dorset, wrote on Twitter: ‘Colleagues have been rescuing hundreds of stranded motorists overnight and the icy roads are treacherous.

‘Please can we have a more literal interpretation of the word ‘essential’ this morning. There have been so many warnings that this weather was coming.’

This followed a message he sent at 5pm yesterday, pleading with drivers not to ‘add to the challenges we are facing’ and warning ‘if we have to rescue you this may put another’s life in danger’.

Devon County Council had warned yesterday that motorists should ‘not travel unless absolutely necessary’.

Police declared a ‘major incident’ after hundreds of motorists needed rescuing from the A31, a major route connecting Hampshire and Dorset.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon sent a ‘blunt’ message to transport company bosses, who had continued to send drivers out on to the roads despite official warnings to avoid non-essential journeys.

She said: ‘I saw some branded HGVs in pictures yesterday and given the branding on them I would struggle to say that their transport was unavoidable.’

A spokesman for the AA said 30 per cent fewer journeys were made yesterday compared to the same day last week.

AA president Edmund King said: ‘It’s the kind of drop we might see on Christmas Day.

‘Almost a third of drivers did get the warnings and took sensible action by not venturing out.

‘I think where people did go out they probably didn’t think the conditions would be as bad as they were.’

Yesterday was the firm’s busiest March day on record with around 30,000 calls to its breakdown line.

Firefighters and paramedics had to dig their way through snow into a South Wales home following a report of concern about carbon monoxide.

Jennie Griffiths, head of joint fire control for South Wales and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Services, tweeted pictures of the crew who attended the property in Ebbw Vale.

In one image, two firefighters, who had walked half a mile in breathing apparatus to reach the home, could be seen peering out of a door framed by a drift of snow taller than them.

Ms Griffiths said a casualty was taken to hospital for a precautionary check.

HM Coastguard has advised people to avoid Holyhead Marina in North Wales as 80 berthed vessels are at risk of damage in the harbour from the adverse weather conditions.

Paul Campbell, deputy head of maritime operations for HM Coastguard, said: ‘Over the past few days our seas have been unforgiving. We understand that adverse weather is awe-inspiring but the dangers are real and should not be underestimated.

‘We cannot stress enough that piers, rocks, harbours and the water’s edge are not safe places to be when the weather is bad.

‘It can be slippery and because there is little to hold on to, even a small wave can come out of nowhere and quickly wash you off and into the sea.

Equally so, no footage, photograph or selfie is worth risking your life for.’

Meanwhile all flights have been grounded at Cardiff Airport with an update expected at around 11am.

Several transport companies including Stagecoach in South Wales and Arriva Trains Wales, which has cancelled all services in the south, have suspended services.

Cardiff Council, which has closed all schools and libraries along with Bute and Roath Parks and Cardiff Market, said its teams had been working ‘around the clock battling heavy snowfall, freezing rain and frozen ground to try and keep the roads clear’.

A spokesman said: ‘Despite this, motorists are facing extremely difficult driving conditions this morning and the transport network is severely compromised.’

The whole of the Irish Republic is also on red alert, valid until 6pm today, after being hit by the worst snow in 35 years.

Evelyn Cusack, senior forecaster with Met Eireann, warned 40cm (1ft 4in) of snow could fall in parts of the east and south.

In Ireland the worst of the blizzard conditions are believed to have passed leaving snow one metre deep on high ground in the east.

But despite the lockdown alert being lifted in Ireland, the country’s Transport Minister Shane Ross pleaded with people to only make ‘the most necessary of journeys’.

‘Please do not use the roads today unless you absolutely have to,’ he said. ‘During the night some motorists became trapped in their cars and we would hope that people today will use common sense and not risk their own safety and that of our emergency services.

‘If your journey is vital please ensure that you pack safety supplies into your car. However, I appeal to anyone who is thinking of making a journey to stop, ask themselves if they really need to get into that car, and if possible, decide against it. Remember, it’s not just your own life you’re risking.’

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also backed the advice for people not to travel unless it is absolutely essential. ‘It is okay to go outside, the blizzard has passed, but there should not be any unnecessary travel,’ Mr Varadkar said.

Snow is going to continue to fall.’

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Driver Thomas Hamilton tweeted this morning from the A303 near Mere in Somerset that he had been stuck for 12 hours.

He ‘slept for 45 minutes, woken up in the same place’, adding: ‘Poor person stuck in a soft top car hasn’t moved, must be freezing’

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Motorists on the M62 in Greater Manchester were trapped in their cars overnight after heavy snow and high winds left the road impassable.

But local residents in Milnrow, Rochdale, came to their aid, bringing hot drinks, food and blankets to people

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A man walks through the snow on the A904 between Newton and South Queensferry in West Lothian today

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Snow has closed the Ministry of Defence Abbey Wood establishment at Filton, Bristol, this morning

Mr Varadkar told RTE Radio One it would take the weekend to get things back to normal and he thanked people for heeding advice.

Some 24,000 homes, farms and businesses are without power, ESB Networks said. Another 83,000 customers experienced blackouts overnight with greater Dublin and eastern areas worst hit.

Met Eireann extended its red weather warning for snow to Galway, with the southern half of the country under the precautionary alert.

But emergency planning chiefs said the public safety advice to shelter indoors has been withdrawn.

‘There are variations in storm impact across the country and people need to take account of circumstances locally before deciding to venture outdoors or undertake journeys,’ the agency said.

A number of motorists were reported stranded in their cars overnight in parts of west and south Dublin, gardai said.

Several drivers had to be rescued by emergency services, cars were also abandoned in northern suburbs of the capital and serious snow drifts have been reported in east Galway.

The Garda traffic corps said: ‘Gardai urge motorists to remain off roads unless absolutely necessary.

‘Large amounts of snow on many roads and conditions vary significantly. Cars abandoned on many roads due to snow.’

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A woman walks to work in Bristol this morning after a further blanket of snow covered the city overnight

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A deserted playground in Leeds, with the West Yorkshire city still sitting under a layer of snow this morning

In Scotland, severe weather is causing continued disruption to travel, with dozens of drivers stuck in a snowdrift.

Police said 20 to 30 vehicles became stuck in snow on the A92 near Inverbervie in Aberdeenshire shortly before 7am and efforts were under way to free them.

In Easter Ross, police said the Nigg, Fearn, Balintore, Portmahomack, Tain and Eddertson areas were closed off due to the adverse weather conditions, which are causing snowdrifts.

They were also dealing with incidents on the B9175 where some drivers were reportedly stuck during the night.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: ‘Just finished latest @scotgov resilience call.

A big issue over next couple of days will be snow drifts, making some local roads impassable. @scotgov will work with councils to mitigate impact on communities. Advice to public is to check with local council before travelling.’

An amber weather warning for snow expired at 10am today; however, a yellow warning of snow across Scotland is in place until 11.55pm tomorrow.

A number of rail and bus services in the amber alert area have been suspended throughout this morning over concerns for safety of staff and passengers.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said roads teams will need time to make routes safe even after the Met Office snow warning expires at 10am, and advised motorists to avoid travel.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A dog walker at St George Park in Bristol this morning, where a blanket of snow has covered the city overnight

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Marwell Zoo, near Winchester, Hampshire, closed today over the conditions. A spokesman said: ‘All our animals are in the safe care of our expert keepers and they are enjoying a snow day – especially our snow leopards, Amur tigers and meerkats’

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

One motorist said she had been stuck on the A303 in Somerset for more than 12 hours from 6pm last night to 6.30am today

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

The passengers were stuck at Brockenhurst in the New Forest on a South Western Railway train that allegedly had no heating

He tweeted: ‘Please don’t assume on Fri 10.01am that trunk road network will be completely clear.

‘Gritters etc will need time for post Red/Amber recovery.’

Troops have been called into transport medics to and from Edinburgh’s two biggest hospitals after a request from NHS Lothian to the Scottish Government.

Cars suffer ‘more than GBP10million of damage in three days’

More than GBP10 million of damage has been done to cars in just three days as the Beast from the East pounces on the UK’s roads, an insurer has estimated.

Figures from the AA’s Cardiff-based car insurance claims team yesterday suggest that nationally the Siberian snow has led to more than 8,000 collisions – costing insurers more than GBP10.7 million.

The estimated bill is based on the average cost of repairing a damaged car being around GBP1,300.

On Wednesday, the number of insurance claims was more than a third higher than on a normal Wednesday for that time of year, the AA said. Two-thirds of claims related to mishaps in the snow and ice.

Michael Lloyd, the AA’s director of insurance, said: ‘Claims are going up as you might expect during the extremely icy weather that the country is experiencing.

‘Based on the AA’s share of the car insurance market, we estimate that the total number of private cars involved in collisions is well over 8,200 and rising.

‘That equates to around GBP10.7 million-worth of dented metal.’

He said that, fortunately, many of these crashes have happened at relatively low speed as motorists do their best to drive according to the conditions.

Often, cars have hit objects such as kerbs, bollards or barriers.

Walls, lamp posts, road signs, bus shelters and wheelie bins have also come off badly.

The extreme weather has seen health boards cancel non-essential operations and outpatient appointments today, while NHS 24 has described its operations as being ‘stretched’.

Princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Glasgow saw tiles fly from its roof under pressure from the extreme weather.

An estimated 1,000 vehicles were stuck on the M80 until yesterday afternoon, with some spending the night in their cars and others abandoning their vehicles on the motorway.

Other major roads such as the M876 and minor routes also faced severe disruption due to crashes and deep snow.

As difficult conditions are set to continue, flights at Scotland’s busiest airports are facing another day of disruption and cancellations.

Glasgow and Edinburgh first called a halt to routes on Wednesday and will be reassessing safety during the morning.

Passengers have been warned to only travel to the airport once they have checked the status of their flight with the airline.

ScotRail has said no services will be running through the amber alert area until tests are carried out on tracks, while Virgin Trains has said its west coast route to Scotland could be closed and is eastern line will be limited.

A number of bus operators are also warning of disruption to routes this morning, while Edinburgh Trams is running a reduced service.

Hundreds of schools up and down the country will remain closed, including in Glasgow, South Lanarkshire, East Lothian, West Lothian and Edinburgh.

Glasgow School of Art has also been closed until Monday.

Witnesses due at 15 courts in Scotland have been told not to attend after trials were cancelled over safety fears.

Courts affected include Glasgow, Edinburgh, Livingston, Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, Hamilton, Alloa, Stirling, Falkirk, Paisley, Dumbarton, Airdrie, Greenock, Perth and Coatbridge.

The so-called Beast from the East, which met Storm Emma yesterday, has already proved deadly. A seven-year-old girl became the latest to die during the severe weather yesterday.

The child, believed to be a pedestrian, was fatally injured after a car hit a house on Bodrigan Road in Looe at about 2.30pm, Devon and Cornwall Police said.

A 75-year-old woman was earlier found dead in a snow-covered street in Leeds, while Hampshire Police said a 46-year-old man died after a collision involving a lorry and van on the A34 southbound near Tot Hill services.

A 60-year-old man who died after being pulled from the water at Danson Park, near Welling, South East London, on Wednesday, was named by the Metropolitan Police as Stephen Cavanagh.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Philip Brown endured more than 15 hours on a train with 50 people on board which became stuck overnight in the snow. The 49-year-old was travelling from London Waterloo to Bournemouth, Dorset, when the train became stuck in the New Forest

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

The empty M62 motorway in Greater Manchester near junction 24 after the road was closed between junctions 21 and 24

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A man on his mobility scooter braves the deep snow conditions at Hanham in Bristol this morning

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

All bus services have been cancelled in Bristol today as the city is covered in snow and faces more severe weather

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

A burst water main which froze in a field near Ceredigion Bay has created this stunning ice sculpture, pictured yesterday

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Team GB snowboarder Aimee Fuller races Leo Emmett down a snowy Primrose Hill in North London yesterday

The National Grid has withdrawn its gas deficit warning following an increase in supplies to the network as extreme weather continues to batter Britain.

The power operator said that following ‘significant supply losses’ yesterday, the market has ‘continued to respond over the last 24 hours and we have seen an increase of supplies into the network’.

Trials at 15 Scottish courts cancelled due to extreme weather

Witnesses due at 15 courts in Scotland have been told not to attend after extreme weather conditions forced trials to be cancelled yesterday.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service advised that a number of hearings will not take place over safety fears.

Cases were adjourned to another day and witnesses will be advised of the new date.

Courts affected included Glasgow, Edinburgh, Livingston, Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, Hamilton, Alloa, Stirling, Falkirk, Paisley, Dumbarton, Airdrie, Greenock, Perth and Coatbridge.

Only what is deemed as ‘essential business’ will take place, meaning criminal custody cases and time barred cases as well as urgent civil applications,

The Office of the Public Guardian and Accountant of Court in Falkirk, Jedburgh Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court as well as Selkirk Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court have also been closed.

‘As the extremely cold weather continues we expect to see high demand on the gas network, so we are continuing to monitor developments closely,’ it added.

National Grid said in a statement: ‘The ‘Gas Deficit Warning’ issued yesterday was withdrawn at 4.45am this morning and we are currently not expecting to issue another today.

‘The market has continued to respond over the last 24 hours and we have seen an increase of supplies into the network.

‘As the extremely cold weather continues we expect to see high demand on the gas network, so we are continuing to monitor developments closely.

‘Protecting customer supplies is always our first priority and we would like to reassure them that this high demand has not affected their domestic gas supplies.’

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens praised NHS staff for ensuring patient care has continued despite the weather conditions.

He said: ‘In these adverse circumstances NHS staff have taken extraordinary measures to get into work and look after patients.

‘Once again the NHS is showing that we are there for people when they need us and that’s all down to our staff, so a huge thank you to everybody across the NHS who is going the extra mile for people at this highly pressurised time.’

Meanwhile, the RAC said frozen rain – which occurs when snow, ice, sleet or hail passes through a layer of warm air before cooling again closer to the ground, freezing immediately on impact – could pose a deadly road risk.

Traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said: ‘Freezing rain perhaps represents one of the greatest challenges any driver could face.

Droplets of rain which come into contact with the ground and other surfaces freeze instantly.

‘This creates a huge hazard as roads may look clear and safe, despite actually being potentially icy death traps. Where freezing rain is forecast, put simply drivers should avoid using their vehicles in affected areas.’

The Met Office added on Twitter that black ice was a threat that could be caused by freezing rain, as it ‘may not be visible, but it will be there’.

Nearly all train operators warned of cancellations and disruption again today and hundreds more flights were cancelled. Motorists across much of the UK have been warned against driving unless absolutely essential.

Search launched for woman, 51, who ‘got lost in hills’

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Police believe Alison Fox got lost in the Ochil Hills near Menstrie after heading out yesterday afternoon

Mountain rescue teams are ‘very concerned’ for a missing woman who set out on a hill walk in Clackmannanshire during the heightened weather warnings.

Police believe Alison Fox got lost in the Ochil Hills near Menstrie in Scotland after heading out yesterday afternoon.

Search teams have been checking the area but no trace has been found of the 51-year-old from Alloa.

Officers say they do not want members of the public to join the search as snow and high winds continue to hit Scotland but have appealed for any sightings or information.

Ms Fox is white, about 5ft 2ins and slim, with short red hair and thick glasses.

She speaks with an English accent and is said to be a keen hill walker.

Inspector Jim Young said: ‘The adverse weather on the hills makes us very concerned for Alison’s welfare and we are keen to trace her as soon as possible.

‘I must stress that I do not want members of the public to come out and assist with the search due to the weather conditions but if you have any relevant information that can help us establish Alison’s whereabouts please contact the police immediately. ‘

Now THAT’S a white wedding: Dorset couple ignore the cold to tie the knot

Gemma Young, 25, woke up in Dorset on her wedding day to find a blanket of snow and the flakes falling yesterday.

‘It was such an amazing day.

Me and my other half were just so excited about the snow – we really wanted it to snow as it was so rare.

‘The venue was amazing at organising everything around the snow.’

The beauty therapist was driven to the 1pm ceremony at the King’s Pavilion in Christchurch, Dorset, in a vintage Wolseley car which made it safely through the cold weather.

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

You may kiss the brrrrrr-ide: Gemma Young and her army husband Rhys posed happily in snowy Dorset for pictures, seemingly not noticing the cold

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

The beauty therapist was driven to the 1pm ceremony at the King’s Pavilion in Christchurch in a vintage Wolseley car

‘I had woken up at 6am and it was completely white and it was snowing from then on. We just drove really slowly and we got there.’

Mrs Young and her army husband Rhys posed happily in the snow for pictures, seemingly not noticing the cold – unlike her shivering bridesmaids.

‘The adrenalin completely took over and I wasn’t cold,’ she said. ‘The bridesmaids were so brave on the day – they made me proud.’

The Youngs are now planning a mini-moon in the Cotswolds for a couple of days before opting for a warmer destination next year, Las Vegas.

‘We were going to go on Sunday but we haven’t booked anything yet; it’s so beautiful here.’

Elderly couple are rescued from 12-foot snow drift, marines take to the road to rescue stricken trucks

Gemma said: ‘The adrenalin completely took over and I wasn’t cold. The bridesmaids were so brave on the day – they made me proud’

What have people been asking Google about the snow?

Google Trends shows searches about snow have spiked in the past week as wintry conditions continue across the UK. Here are the answers to some of the most popular questions people have asked over the past seven days.

– What is snow? And at what temperature does it snow?

Snow is water vapour that freezes in the atmosphere into ice crystals and falls to the ground as white flakes, according to the Met Office.

It forms when the atmospheric temperature is at or below 0C (32F), but will only fall to the ground as snow when the air temperature at that height is below 2C (35.6F).

Just above 2C, the snowflake will melt and fall as sleet or as rain if it is warmer still.

The Met Office says it is a myth that snow only falls below 0C, and the heaviest snowfalls in the UK tend to occur between 0 and 2C.

– Will it snow?

While the heaviest of the snow is likely to have passed, with fewer weather warnings on Friday, there may be still to come in some areas.

‘Will it snow’, ‘where is it snowing now’ and ‘how much snow will we get’ were three of the top four searches in the past week.

– Is it illegal to drive with snow on your car?

While there is no law saying it is illegal to drive with snow on your car, the Highway Code says people must by law be able to see out of every glass panel in their vehicle when driving in adverse weather conditions.

The Road Traffic Act 1988 adds that it is a legal requirement for motorists to have a clear view of the road before starting to drive.

Failure to do so can incur a fine.

– How to drive in snow? And what gear should be used?

Snow causes difficult driving conditions, so plan ahead and allow yourself more time if you need to use your vehicle.

The RAC recommends checking your car before you set off for parts which could be affected by the cold, such as frozen windscreen wipers, and finding a route which is less likely to be exposed to the elements.

Drive slowly and smoothly, ensuring you leave plenty of space between you and the car in front of you, and avoid braking suddenly if possible to decrease the risk of skidding.

If you have a manual vehicle, the RAC recommends using low revs and changing up to a higher gear quickly, even using second gear to set off and reduce wheel slip when possible.

Low gears should be used for going downhill and braking should be avoided unless necessary. When going uphill, try to maintain a constant speed and gear.

If it is snowing while you are driving, make sure to turn your dipped headlights on so that you are visible from in front and behind to other drivers.

Fog lights should be used when visibility drops below 100m.

For further information on driving in the snow, go to the RAC’s website.

– What roads are closed due to snow?

Road closures change rapidly, but people can keep up to date by checking Traffic England, Wales and Scotland websites, or Highways England.

Local news and radio outlets also offer regular updates.

– What are snow drifts and squalls?

A snow drift refers to a bank of snow which has been heaped up by wind.

A snow-squall is a sudden and moderately heavy snowfall combined with strong winds.

– Will flights be cancelled due to snow?

Airport arrivals and departures boards can be accessed online and offer real time updates on flights, and is the best way to stay up to date.

If you have a flight, your airline should contact you if it is delayed or cancelled – and should try to book you an alternative journey for the latter.

– How do you walk in snow?

The NHS recommends walking like a penguin.

Take short steps with feet facing slightly outwards, knees loose and arms extended to the side for balance.

– Why do schools close for snow?

Department for Education guidelines state headteachers must use common sense to assess the safety risks posed by snow and then make an executive decision.

Headteachers must consider whether children can travel to school safely, if there are enough staff available to supervise them and that the site itself is safe.

This decision can be made due to snow that has already fallen, but also weather reports suggesting conditions will further worsen.

– How to make an igloo out of snow?

Other questions in the top 30 of Google’s most searched questions about snow from the past week include ‘what to do on a snow day’ and ‘how to make an igloo out of snow’.

Other non-question top searches included ‘snow shovel’ and ‘snow plough’, ‘snow jokes’, ‘snow puns’ and ‘snow quotes’ and ‘snow socks’.

References

  1. ^ e-mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ filmed (twitter.com)
  3. ^ weather (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  4. ^ Met Office (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  5. ^ (www.dailymail.co.uk)



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