Ice warning as cold snap closes hundreds of schools

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A seaside resort in Devon has been cut off after heavy snowfall and hundreds of schools have been shut after the second “Beast from the East” hit Britain.

Ilfracome was one of several towns in North Devon to become cut off despite the best efforts of gritters over the weekend.

The county council tweeted: “Ilfracombe, Lynton, Lynmouth, Combe Martin and other north coast communities remain cut off, with all efforts being made to get through by the crews. Drifting snow, temperatures remain low, all causing problems.”

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The Met Office put new yellow “be aware” warnings for ice in place to cover from 7pm on Monday until 9am on Tuesday, after similar warning expired at 10am on Monday.

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Video: ‘If we hadn’t been out, she would have died’

The warnings cover England and Wales, as temperatures could drop below freezing, affecting the thaw of the remaining snow overnight.

Forecasters say further snow is likely across parts of the southwest of England, with a few light snow showers for other southern counties for a while.

Devon County Council said more than 300 schools were closed on Monday following the severe weather, while dozens of school closures were reported in Somerset, Gloucestershire and parts of Wales.

More than 80 people were forced to spend the night at a school after the A30 was hit by “significant snow” overnight, Devon and Cornwall Police said, with conditions “changing rapidly from passable to impossible”.

Richard White, volunteer rest centre manager, said spirits were high among the residents despite their difficult evening.

He said on Sunday night: “We first of all provide them with something hot to drink and we’ve got blankets, duvets.

“We make sure people get a good night’s sleep, we feed them in the morning and weather-permitting, we prepare them to get back in their cars and on their way.

“Police want everybody off the roads to give them the opportunity to clear the roads with the snow ploughs and the gritters in time for the morning.”

Two of those stranded were newlyweds Sara and John Lund, who had been driving to Watergate Bay in Newquay after their wedding in Bristol on Sunday.

They told Sky News: “We set off from Bristol and the weather was alright, but it got treacherous and you could see cars getting into trouble.

John and Sara Lund who spent their wedding night at the Emergency Rest Centre in at Okehampton College
Image: John and Sara Lund who spent their wedding night at the Emergency Rest Centre in at Okehampton College

“It was getting dark and we got worried.

“The good people running this rest centre found us and gave us somewhere – not the bridal suite – but somewhere warm.

“There were about 20 other people in our room, it wasn’t what I had in mind.”

Homes in Hemsby, Norfolk, were evacuated amid fears they could be washed into the sea after warnings of snow and ice.

Video: Burst water pipe floods major road

And a burst water pipe in Sheffield city centre caused travel disruption and left hundreds of properties without water amid the freezing conditions.

Temperatures are expected to rise again from Tuesday after the latest cold blast, which followed a freezing spell of weather earlier this month dubbed the “Beast from the East”.

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Richard Leonard, head of road safety at Highways England, said: “Gritters will be out treating our roads around the clock, but it is still important to drive to the conditions when snow is forecast.

“Drivers should plan their journeys, monitor weather reports and pack a snow kit of blankets, food, water and a shovel.”

From – SkyNews

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