Weather warning as snow showers possible

By Daniel Clark   |   Local Democracy Reporter   |
Friday 22nd January 2021 5:26 pm
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County highway teams are preparing for the possibility of widespread snow showers on Sunday with up to 5cm of the white stuff expected.

The county’s army of around 325 snow warden volunteers have been alerted by the county council and they will be standing by in case they need to be called into action.

And Devon County Council is also working closely with Highways England and Devon and Cornwall Police, should additional resources be needed at Haldon and Telegraph Hill.

Gritters will be carrying out multiple treatments overnight tonight as freezing temperatures and the risk of icy conditions and wintry showers continue into the weekend.

The county council’s teams will be treating around 2,000 miles of roads on Devon’s primary and secondary salting network from around 7am tomorrow (Saturday) morning, ahead of a band of snow which is forecast to bring around 5cm of snow from the early hours of Sunday.

Road surface temperatures will again be low this evening, dropping to almost  -4C in some areas, and they are set to remain below freezing for long spells over the weekend.

The deep freeze is due to continue until next Tuesday which could leave untreated roads particularly hazardous.

Cllr Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highway management, said: “We’ve had a hazardous mix of weather conditions with the current cold snap coming straight off the back of heavy rain from Storm Christoph.

“A number of collisions were reported in parts of the county on Friday morning due to the icy conditions, despite gritters carrying out multiple treatments on our gritting routes.

“I would urge everyone to please take extra care. Remember, if you need to de-ice your car it’s likely that the roads are also potentially icy, particularly untreated roads.

“Our teams will be working flat out to treat our salting network, and snow wardens are prepared if they need to salt their priority routes, but it’s impossible to get to every mile of our 8,000 miles of roads in Devon. If you need to travel on Devon’s roads over the weekend, please do so carefully.”

The county council is reminding people of the following advice:

• Avoid overnight travel unless absolutely essential as roads will always be more hazardous at night with less traffic and colder temperatures;

• Never assume a road has been salted. Remember that showers or rain will wash salt off roads leaving them prone to ice, and in extreme cold even salting will not stop ice from forming;

• Allow additional time for your journey;

• Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front;

• Drive with care and according to the conditions.

The Met Office has issued two yellow weather warnings for snow and ice across Devon and Cornwall starting today.

Shortly after the Exeter-based meteorologist team sent out a yellow weather warning for Sunday January 24, they issued another warning for snow and ice which comes into place this afternoon, from 4pm.

The most recent weather alert says snow and ice may cause travel disruption tonight and early Saturday.

Today’s snow and ice warning says says there will probably be some icy patches on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths, which is likely to increase the likelihood of accidents and injuries.

The warning – which covers all of Devon and Cornwall – says some roads and railways likely to be affected by snowfall, with longer journey times by car as well as bus and train services, the Met Office said.

Then a separate warning comes into effect on Sunday morning at 3am, and remains in place throughout the day on Sunday until 6pm.

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