‘Save wa­ter’ warn­ing as the heat goes on

Western Mail - - NEWS -

SOME roads have be­gun to melt, rail­way tracks have reached tem­per­a­tures of 49°C (120.2F) and a hosepipe ban is set to come into force as the UK swelters in the on­go­ing heatwave.

The first hosepipe ban is likely to come into place in North­ern Ire­land this week­end, with plenty more hot sun­shine fore­cast for the com­ing days.

North­ern Ire­land Wa­ter said de­mand is out­strip­ping sup­ply, leav­ing it with no op­tion but to bring in the ban in or­der to save wa­ter.

Else­where across the UK, con­sumers are be­ing urged to take sim­ple steps to re­duce the amount of wa­ter they use.

Top tips in­clude tak­ing a shorter shower, not leav­ing the taps run­ning and re-us­ing pad­dling-pool wa­ter for plants in the gar­den.

Porth­madog was the hottest place in the UK for the fourth day in a row yes­ter­day as the mer­cury soared to 33°C (91.4°F).

While tem­per­a­tures ap­pear to have peaked for now, they will re­main high into the week­end and early next week.

To­day could see 27°C (80.6°F) in Wales, and pre­dicted highs of about 31°C (87.8°F) in some parts of the UK by Mon­day.

Met Of­fice spokesman Gra­hame Madge said: “We are go­ing to see a con­tin­u­a­tion of the cur­rent warm spell but the tem­per­a­tures over the next few days are not likely to be the warm­est of the year so far.

“I think for now tem­per­a­tures have peaked and we are not ex­pect­ing to see any records to­day. We will be­gin to have a slightly fresher feel, bring­ing the tem­per­a­tures down, not by much, by one or two de­grees.”

Grit­ters have been de­ployed in some ar­eas, spread­ing crushed rock dust onto melt­ing roads to cre­ate a non-stick layer be­tween the sur­face

and ve­hi­cles.

Mo­torists have been ad­vised to use warm soapy wa­ter to wash sticky tar from their ve­hi­cles.

Some rail­way tracks have soared to nearly 50°C (122°F), lead­ing them to ex­pand and bend.

Trains had to be stopped over a sec­tion of track near Carlisle sta­tion on Thurs­day.

Speed re­stric­tions have been in place all week on the route from Lon­don Water­loo to New Malden due to the scorch­ing tem­per­a­tures, caus­ing de­lays to ser­vices.

Translink Rail ser­vices also felt the heat as they were forced to de­lay and can­cel ser­vices across North­ern Ire­land on Thurs­day as rail lines reached over 50C and be­gan to buckle.

The Met Of­fice’s heat-health watch alert has re­mained at level two all week, mean­ing so­cial and health­care ser­vices are at the ready to re­duce harm from a po­ten­tial heatwave.

This week is the first time since 2013 that all four na­tions in the UK have seen tem­per­a­tures of 30°C or above, the Met Of­fice said.

Pub­lic Health Eng­land is­sued a warn­ing say­ing the ex­treme heat may pose a risk to the most vul­ner­a­ble.

The ris­ing tem­per­a­tures have also come with warn­ings to be care­ful near wa­ter and in the coun­try­side, where fire crews have been tack­ling wild­fires.

Pic­tures taken in Tre­banog yes­ter­day showed smoke across the Rhondda val­leys as a grass fire took hold west of Pen­rhys for­est to­wards Tre­orchy.

The heat has al­ready claimed ca­su­al­ties. The fam­ily of 13-year-old Ryan Evans, whose body was re­cov­ered on Wed­nes­day, two days af­ter he got into dif­fi­culty at West­port Lake in Stoke-on-Trent, warned of the dan­gers of play­ing and swim­ming in open wa­ter.

They said: “We just can­not em­pha­sis enough the dan­gers of swim­ming in open wa­ter, es­pe­cially where young chil­dren are con­cerned. Our mes­sage is sim­ple, please don’t do it.”

A 17-year-old boy was found dead in the river Aire in Leeds in the early hours of Wed­nes­day fol­low­ing a search-and-res­cue op­er­a­tion. It is be­lieved he got into dif­fi­cul­ties while swim­ming on Tues­day evening.

The body of a man was also re­cov­ered from a lake in Nut­field, Sur­rey, on Mon­day.

Two girls were res­cued from the river Wharfe in Ilk­ley, West York­shire, af­ter get­ting into dif­fi­culty on Tues­day, ac­cord­ing to the West York­shire Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice.

A spokesman said a fire crew from Ilk­ley fire sta­tion was car­ry­ing out train­ing in the area of the river called Crom Wheel – a pop­u­lar spot for peo­ple to sit on the river­bank – when they heard screams around 100 yards away and peo­ple shout­ing that the girls were miss­ing. He said the crews gath­ered res­cue equip­ment and hur­ried down­stream but a mem­ber of the pub­lic who was al­ready there man­aged to res­cue the girls.

The RNLI has urged those head­ing to the sea­side to seek out beaches with a life­guard.

There is bad news for farm­ers grow­ing crops and the fire­fight­ers still fight­ing a 500-me­tre-long gorse fire on the Glen­shane Pass in County Lon­don­derry, more than 48 hours af­ter it first broke out.

A Mid and West Wales Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice crew at­tended a grass fire at Mum­bles Na­ture Re­serve yes­ter­day.

Parts of the re­serve were closed off af­ter crews ar­rived to tackle the blaze at 8.43am.

A spokesman said: “Path­ways at Mum­bles Na­ture Re­serve have been closed as a pre­cau­tion and we urge mem­bers of the pub­lic to keep away from the area whilst our fire­fight­ers con­duct their du­ties and ex­tin­guish the fire.”

The RSPCA called on pet own­ers to keep a close eye on their an­i­mals in the heat af­ter re­ceiv­ing 625 calls about an­i­mals in hot en­vi­ron­ments be­tween June 11 and 24 – the ma­jor­ity about dogs in hot cars.

The Royal Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety has sug­gested peo­ple use waste wa­ter from the kitchen to keep plants nour­ished and to re­duce waste.

Brian Law­less

> Yas­mina, a fe­male red panda, eyes up an ice block with frozen fruits in­side, at Dublin Zoo, as tem­per­a­tures con­tinue to soar

Peter Bolter

> Smoke rises across the Rhondda Val­leys late yes­ter­day af­ter­noon as a grass fire takes hold west of Pen­rhys for­est to­wards Tre­orchy. Pic­ture taken from Tre­banog

Kirsty O’Con­nor

> Con­stanta Do­menti, two, plays in the laven­der at May­field Laven­der Farm in Sut­ton, south Lon­don

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