Britain grinds to a standstill with two more weeks of chaos to come
Published 07/01/2010 | 05:00
MUCH of Britain ground to a standstill yesterday in freezing conditions as forecasters gave warning that the country should brace itself for six more days of snow.
Some areas saw as much as 18 inches of snow fall overnight and the freezing temperatures are expected to continue for at least another two weeks.
Hospitals cancelled operations, about 10,000 schools were closed and the armed forces had to be called in to help clear roads. All airports were affected by delays and cancellations. The runways at Gatwick closed, with more than 80 flights unable to take off.
Dozens more flights were cancelled at airports across the country.
Salt Union, the company that supplies 80pc of the country's grit, admitted it could not cope with the extra demand from councils, raising the prospect of shortages. Some councils have been unable to take delivery of extra supplies while others rationed grit. Scarborough council even resorted to using sand from the resort's beach to spread on the roads.
Temperatures overnight on Tuesday dropped to -13C in Aberdeenshire and -10C in Marham, Norfolk.
The Met Office gave warning that it would snow every day in Britain in the coming week, with the bad weather concentrated in the south.
As daytime temperatures struggled to get above freezing, there was misery for some home owners as power cuts left them without heating. Five thousand homes in Kent, Suffolk, Sussex and Berkshire were affected.
With millions unable to get into work, business leaders gave warning that the cost to the economy could top £14.5bn (€16.1bn). (© Daily Telegraph, London)