South Wales braced for blast of win­try weather

South Wales Echo - - NEWS -

WARN­INGS of snow, ice and rain re­main in place for most of the coun­try to­day and to­mor­row as South Wales gears up for a blast of win­try weather.

The Met Of­fice yes­ter­day is­sued two sep­a­rate yel­low “be aware” warn­ings.

In the first, snow show­ers were fore­cast to hit Scot­land, North­ern Ire­land, parts of Eng­land, North Wales and West Wales.

In the sec­ond alert, peo­ple liv­ing in Cardiff, Brid­gend, Caer­philly, Merthyr Tyd­fil, the Vale of Glam­or­gan and RCT were warned that rain mov­ing east­wards across the re­gion “may turn to snow in places”.

The Met Of­fice’s alert says: “There is a chance of snow set­tling with dis­rup­tion to road, rail and air ser­vices as well as in­ter­rup­tions to power sup­plies and other util­i­ties – this more likely across East Anglia and south­east Eng­land.

“As­so­ci­ated heavy rain and strong winds may prove ad­di­tional haz­ards.

“As skies clear on Thurs­day night there is also po­ten­tial for wide­spread ice to form quite rapidly on un­treated sur­faces.”

How­ever, fore­cast­ers said snow was more likely on higher ground, with Derek Brock­way pre­dict­ing it would be “mostly rain in Cardiff. Rain in Merthyr then sleet and snow. Rain and sleet in Brecon, snow show­ers later. A lit­tle snow in Bala.”

Coun­cils across Wales have been pre­par­ing for the pos­si­ble dis­rup­tion the weather may cause, and have been mak­ing con­tin­gency plans to en­sure any snow causes min­i­mal dis­tur­bance.

In Cardiff, coun­cil cabi­net trans­port chief Ramesh Pa­tel said keep­ing the city mov­ing was “a ma­jor pri­or­ity”, with as­sur­ances is­sued to res­i­dents that prepa­ra­tions are fully in place.

Au­thor­i­ties the length of Wales have put in place win­ter con­tin­gency plans – with Caer­philly coun­cil keep­ing 10,000 tonnes of grit in stor­age for its fleet of 13 grit­ters.

Cabi­net mem­ber Coun­cil­lor Tom Wil­liams said: “Re­tain­ing vital ser­vices, sup­port­ing vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple and keep­ing our county bor­ough mov­ing dur­ing win­try weather is of para­mount im­por­tance.”

For par­ents, the pos­si­ble clo­sure of their chil­dren’s schools may be a worry.

To find out about school clo­sures, coun­cils urge those in af­fected ar­eas to check their web­sites, along with the school’s web­sites or so­cial me­dia.

Mean­while, with wind chill tem­per­a­tures in Cardiff fore­cast to dip as low as -4°C overnight, health chiefs have warned that the el­derly can be par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble to a sud­den cold snap.

Sarah Spencer, emer­gency con­sul­tant at Brid­gend’s Princess of Wales Hospi­tal, said: “Ev­ery year we see an in­crease in pa­tients ar­riv­ing at our emer­gency de­part­ments with bro­ken bones and other in­juries from fall­ing in snow and ice.

“For some peo­ple this means hav­ing a wrist, arm or leg in a plas­ter cast for a few weeks.

“But for oth­ers it can be much more se­ri­ous and very painful, re­quir­ing an op­er­a­tion and a stay in hospi­tal.”

Any­one who does have go out is strongly ad­vised to take ex­tra care and wear warm clothes and non-slip shoes.

Else­where in the UK, heavy winds yes­ter­day bat­tered much of north­ern Eng­land – while in Scot­land, mo­torists faced long de­lays as the Forth Road Bridge was closed after a lorry blew over in the early hours of the morn­ing.

In Poland, two more deaths were re­ported yes­ter­day. The cold snap has now been blamed for at least 65 deaths there.

Weather: Page 6

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