Big freeze bites into power supply
Published 26/03/2013 | 06:01
Thousands of people have spent another night without power as the long winter continued its freezing grip on the UK.
More than 3,000 people in Argyll in Scotland and the Isle of Arran remained cut off overnight after ice and snow damaged pylons, damaging the electricity network.
Transport routes across the UK remained impassible as deep snow drifts buried roads as the dangerous weather showed no immediate signs of abating.
Farmers have been left counting the cost of the blizzard conditions, with many having to rescue stranded livestock at the height of the lambing season.
Meanwhile the Government's Winter Fuel Allowance "cuts" have left most pensioners struggling to pay for energy as the cold weather bites, it was claimed.
Hard-pressed elderly householders find it difficult to make ends meet as frigid conditions persist in Northern Ireland, Age Sector Platform claimed, calling for an emergency payment.
Forecasters have warned the cold weather will last for at least a few more days, and the Met Office has extended its level 3 cold weather alert until Friday. Paul Mott, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said that while most areas will have a lot of drier weather throughout the rest of the week, the cold will be here for the foreseeable future.
"Where there is a lot of snow lying on the ground we should see a slow thaw by the end of the week, with temperatures creeping up to 4C or 5C (39F or 41F) during the days by about Friday," Mr Mott said.
"But there is still going to be a very sharp frost during the night. For the foreseeable future it is going to stay cold, and the snow of the ground is likely to last for some time."
The Met Office also issued yellow warnings of snow and ice for much of north east England and eastern Scotland, with warnings of snow for the East Midlands, Yorkshire and the North East. A Met Office statement warned of a "100% probability" of severe cold weather and icy conditions until Friday morning.