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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Weather latest: Power restored but roads still closed

Power supplies have been restored to all Cumbrian homes cut-off by the weekend's bad weather.

Related: Snow in Cumbria: In pictures, videos, Tweets and Facebook posts

Related: Snow forces controlled shut down at Cumbria's Sellafield site

Related: Cumbria police alert over multiple crashes on M6

Related: Motorway and A75 closed by severe weather and crashes

A spokeswoman said the last 54 homes left without electricity had now been reconnected.

Supplies had been lost to homes in the Workington, Eskmeals, Bootle and Waberthwaite areas as the extreme weather wreaked havoc across the area.

In total, 1,700 county homes were affected and Electricity North West's engineers battled the elements to carry out repairs.

The A595 road - with the exception of the road at Whicham Valley - has been reopened after the snow was cleared and abandoned vehicles moved into lay-bys pending collection by their owners.

Police were still this morning (Sunday) urging people not to travel in the south and west of the county unless absolutely necessary.

Some areas of Cumbria were being battered by severe winds of up to 45mph which was causing snow to continue to drift onto the roads as they were being cleared.

A number of road closures are still in place.

A police statement read: "Police, highways, fire services, mountain rescue, bay search and rescue and other agencies worked through the night to attend reported incidents and to clear the snow from the county’s roads.

"Some areas of the county are still being subjected to severe winds of up to 45mph which is causing snow to continue to drift onto the roads as they are being cleared, this means that many of the roads are still blocked.

"Some cars that were abandoned on the roads have been totally covered in snow, and in some places the drifts are up to 20 feet high. Highways, police, mountain rescue teams and other agencies will continue to try to clear the roads during the day.

"The advice from Cumbria police remains, for your own safety please do not travel in the south and west of the county unless absolutely necessary."

The following roads are still closed:

  • A5091 at Dockray
  • A683 Closed in places
  • B6259 at Kirkby Stephen Garsdale
  • B5322 St Johns in the Vale
  • C2011 Pattenfoot to Boltongate
  • U2136 Clea Hill to Park End
  • U2131 Bankside to Catlands
  • U2132 Carlisle Gate to Catlands
  • C2021 Aughertree to Uldale
  • U2156 Linewath to Townhead Hesket
  • U2111 Prior Hall Mill
  • C2011 Bankside Boltongate
  • U2121 Highside to Bassenthwaite
  • U2118 Highside to Uldale

The statement added: "Cumbria police are continuing to urge people to look after each other this morning and to check on family and neighbours, especially the vulnerable, elderly and those who are without power as the effects of the snow and bad weather continue.

"It is very important that everyone takes time to check on those nearby to ensure that people are warm and have the essential things that they need today.

"Anyone who is planning on visiting the county over the next few days is advised to check the latest weather forecast and if you were planning on walking in the area, especially fell walking, please check on the local weather forecast."

"Do not put yourself in danger by being out in adverse weather conditions.

Two events planned for yesterday (Sunday) - the Whinlatter mountain bike challenge and the Workington to Keswick walk - have been postponed. The walk will now take place on April 14 and the challenge on April 21.

The rail line between Carlisle and Barrow was blocked by snow and services either cancelled or disrupted. There were no trains between Millom and Whitehaven and poor road conditions meant no replacement service was available.

The lines between Carlisle and Barrow were open today (Monday).

Northern Rail services on the Carlisle to Settle line resumed  on Saturday but the firm advised caution if travelling.

Since Friday morning, Cumbria police received about 1,500 calls for assistance. These included multiple reports of crashes, impassable roads, road signs blowing over and severe snowy conditions.

On Saturday morning, the A66 and the A595 roads between Thursby and Cockermouth were closed because of drifting snow.

Police said there were also problems on the M6 near junction 39 at Shap where blowing snow was accumulating by six to eight inches in lane one. Police urged motorists to slow down and be wary of very poor driving conditions.

Police and partner agencies opened a reception centre at Millom High School on Friday night for those who were left stranded in their cars. About 70 people stayed overnight and received shelter with others staying in local hotels.

Another dozen or so took refuge at the Brown Cow Inn, on the side of the A595 at Waberthwaite, after becoming stranded. Landlord Phil Chapman said the snow was 8ft deep outside.

"We can't go anywhere," he added. "We are completely trapped and we have had no electric since about 3 or 4pm yesterday afternoon. We are just sat in front of the fire."

He said there was enough food to keep everyone going but there are people who want to get home to be with their families. However, it is not known when the roads will be clear enough for them to leave.

Gary Parsons, Bay Search and Rescue station officer, said the team helped 72 motorists overnight on Friday who had become trapped along the A595.

He added: "We have been working for nearly 24 hours. We slept on the floor of Millom fire station – it's not the Hilton you know. The conditions this morning are far worse that were at midnight when we left."

Fresh snow overnight and snow drifts meant the team was finding it was as deep as 14ft in places.

A three-vehicle crash on Friday closed part of the A595 road at Bolton Low Houses and left a man with serious head injuries.

Cumbria police set up a ‘Gold Group’ at their headquarters in Penrith to monitor the response to a number of incidents across the county and the developing situation in case the weather becomes worse.

The group is meeting regularly to ensure the safety of the public is maintained during the severe weather conditions. They are advising motorists not to travel unless it is essential.

Calls for help included multiple reports of road traffic collisions, impassable roads from trees falling, road signs blowing over and severe snowy conditions.

On Friday, Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team removed at least 11 people stuck in cars north of Bootle. Duddon MRT was working to remove those stuck south of Bootle.

A heavy goods vehicle was blown over on the A66 eastbound close to Bassenthwaite, a few miles from the Pheasant Inn.

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Have your say

Yeah anon, but its spring

Posted by martin on 25 March 2013 at 21:06

some people are stupid ignoring a warning sign is just an idiotic thing to do, this is done by the sort of people who drive around barriers at train crossing's, plus if they get stuck then expect somebody to go and rescue them!!! i am sure the people clearing the roads and restoring the power did the best they could in the conditions that they encountered!!!

Posted by albert on 25 March 2013 at 12:54

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