Snow strands drivers as weekend of extreme weather set to hit UK

Mike Bedigan, PA

Heavy snow in northern Scotland has left stranded drivers in need of rescue as the UK braces for a biting first weekend of February.

Multiple flood warnings have been issued across England by the Environment Agency and extreme weather is expected to cause disruption to transport and power.

The Met Office has extended warnings for snow and ice covering the length of Britain from midday on Saturday to midnight on Monday.

In the early hours of Friday, 22 vehicles were stranded in snow on the A835 at Loch Droma, north-west of Inverness, with emergency services assisting a rescue operation.

Winter weather Feb 4th 2021
The closed snow gates on the road leading to the Cairngorm Ski Centre near Aviemore (Jane Barlow/PA)

Highland Council said two people were evacuated to Aultguish and welfare centres were set up there and at Ullapool.

Road management organisation Bear Scotland said the vehicles became stranded in two-metre snow drifts.

In a statement on Friday afternoon, Police Scotland said all cars have now been cleared with no injuries reported among passengers.

Network Rail said services have been disrupted on the Highland Mainline despite plough trains being used to clear snow.

A Met Office amber weather warning for snow is in place across large parts of Scotland until 6am on Saturday.

Up to 20-30cm of snow is expected in areas above 150cm and 10-15cm in low levels, which could cause road and rail disruption, and power cuts.

There are currently 36 flood warnings in place across parts of England, along the River Severn and the River Thames, put in place by the Environment Agency.

In Maidenhead, parts of Cookham were left submerged after heavy rains caused flooding at Widbrook Common.

Residents living by the Jubilee River previously expressed concern over the efficacy of the local flood relief system and fear that prolonged wet weather could lead to a repeat of 2014, which saw properties flooded twice in the space of two months.

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