Storm Emma: Army Called in to Rescue Drivers Stuck in Snow

Posted on March 2, 2018

The Army have been deployed to rescue hundreds of drivers, as sub-zero conditions continue across the UK.

The military are helping police in Greater Manchester free motorists stranded in snow from the M62.

Major incidents have been declared in Wiltshire, Hampshire and Avon and Somerset, as blizzards brought roads to a standstill. Elsewhere passengers were trapped on freezing trains.

Flights and trains have been cancelled and thousands of schools are shut.

There are 10 severe weather warnings in place for the UK. The final warning is in force until 23:55 GMT on Monday.

National Grid’s first “gas deficit warning” for eight years has been withdrawn. The power operator issued the warning on Thursday, saying it might not have enough gas to meet demand due to the cold.

Police forces across the UK have told people to travel only if necessary.

There is a warning of black ice on the M6. Highways England has said some of the worst problems are near Rochdale on the M62 – which is closed as stranded vehicles are cleared – and on the A303 near Ilminster and the A31 in the New Forest – where the Army have been helping to rescue drivers.

On the M62, volunteers from Milnrow, Rochdale, took hot drinks, food and blankets to some of those stuck – including a bottle of warm milk for a five-week-old baby.

Much of Wales has been brought to a standstill, where routine operations have been cancelled as health boards make a plea for staff to attend work. Travel conditions in Scotland remain treacherous.

The Environment Agency has issued seven flood warnings and 20 flood alerts for coastal areas in the south-west and north-east of England. Severe flooding has already been reported in Penzance, due to high river levels and large seas.

Passengers who boarded a South Western Railway train to Weymouth at 17:05 GMT on Thursday were still in their carriages on Friday morning after their train broke down in the middle of the night.

Robert Luther, 48, from Poole, was returning from work in London.

“We’ve been stuck here for 11 hours – it must have been close to zero degrees in here last night,” he told the BBC.

“We had 3 foil blankets between 30 of us. A few of us have put plastic bags over our socks and inside our boots – a tip we heard on BBC News yesterday.”

Another passenger, Dave Taylor, said people had been trying to sleep, but it was “so, so cold”.

“A fire brigade medic had arrived to check no casualties,” he said. “No power. No lights. Nothing. Refreshments have run out.”

Meanwhile on another train, Shane White finally arrived in Bournemouth having left Cardiff some 16 hours earlier.

BBC News >

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