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Update: Multi-agency response continues after heavy snowfall in South Cumbria

Cumbria’s road networks are continuing to experience challenging conditions following heavy snowfall yesterday and icy conditions today.

Agencies are continuing to urge people not to travel unless it is necessary.

Read more: Major incident declared as heavy snowfall causes travel chaos in Cumbria

A yellow weather warning for ice is in place from 5pm this evening (Sunday) to 12pm tomorrow.

Extensive work has been carried out by Cumberland Council and Westmorland and Furness Council highways teams to clear and treat priority routes and those most affected by the snow yesterday and they will continue to work throughout today and overnight. This work has resulted in the county’s priority routes all deemed to be passable with care.

Those at community venues or have abandoned vehicles, who are planning on travelling, are encouraged with extreme care to use the priority routes which are passable and have been treated.

Superintendent Andy Wilkinson, Cumbria Constabulary, said: “We are continuing to see challenges on our road networks

“Extensive work has been carried out by highways teams to clear snow and make priority routes passable. Due to the cold temperatures, there is a significant risk that some areas will be impacted by black ice.

“Once again, we are asking people to only travel if necessary. Similarly, we are asking people not to visit the county today if your journey is not necessary in order to keep people safe on our roads.”

Electricity North West are aware of a number of properties without power and have engineers working to resolve these issues. If you live in an area where power is out, and it is safe to do so, check on your elderly or vulnerable neighbours.

A spokesperson for Westmorland and Furness Council said: ‘’Most major routes are now passible with care.

‘’Latest reports suggest the A591 between Ambleside and Windermere is passible but is moving extremely slowly - so please avoid if possible. The Kirkstone Pass remains closed.

‘’Further freezing temperatures are expected this evening and advice remains not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

‘’Our gritting teams will be out throughout the night again today covering our priority 1 and 2 routes.

‘’Our Highways teams have undertaken more than 24 hours of continuous activity on the roads network dealing with significant disruption caused by heavy snow and ice.

‘’Road conditions remain very challenging. Please do not travel unless your journey is absolutely necessary.

‘’Our teams and gritters are operating at full capacity and will once again be working through the night tonight.

‘’Please bear with us and remain safe during this difficult time. We will continue to work 24 hours a day until we can access all communities and ensure that all priority routes are accessible.''

Engineers from Electricity North West are battling treacherous conditions brought by overnight snow to restore power to customers affected across Cumbria. 

Heavy snow has caused widespread disruption across the county and yesterday evening, a major incident was declared by police. 

Cumbria’s power network has been severely impacted with more than 20 separate damages to the network reported. While engineers have been able to restore power to many properties by reconfiguring the network remotely, some customers will be off for longer until engineers can reach affected sites and carry out physical repairs. 

Teams of engineers, who have already restored supplies to nearly 5,000 customers, are working to restore power as quickly and as safely as possible to just over 2,000 properties. Access issues are a major problem with many roads impassable and only specialist 4x4 vehicles can currently be used.

Stephanie Trubshaw, Electricity North West’s customer director, said: “These are without a doubt some of the worst conditions we have seen in terms of snow for several years. 

“Teams worked into the night restoring power to customers, but as the snow continued to fall, further damage was caused to the network.

“Driving conditions are incredibly difficult and we are having issues with access across large areas of Cumbria, particularly in South Lakes. 

“I want to stress that our teams will work around the clock to ensure power is restored. If you need to report a power cut or need additional support, please call us on 105 and if you need urgent help in a life-threating situation call 999.”

Electricity North West is drafting in engineers from across the North West whilst also calling on its contractors to assist with the restoration as well as carrying out ‘recces’ to assess and identify network damage. More staff from other areas of the business are also being drafted in to proactively contact customers and the firm has also sourced a helicopter which will help identify damage. 

The power network operator is also working with Cumbria’s Local Resilience Forum and whilst people are urged not to travel, for those who need to attend community support centres can visit: 

Ambleside - Ambleside Parish Centre, Vicarage Road                                                                 

Windermere - Langstone House, Broad Street, Windermere

Grizebeck - Grizebeck Community Hall                                                 

Coniston - Coniston Sports and Social Centre                                                                   

Nr and Far Sawry, Braithwaite Hall                                                                   

Bowness - Lake District Boat Club, Glebe Road, Bowness

Troutbeck - Sun Inn, Troutbeck

Staveley - Staveley Village Hall

Hawkshead - Esthwaite Primary School, Main Street, Hawkshead

“The incident across Cumbria is a multi-agency response and we’re in regular contact with all those involved including the police, fire and rescue service and local councils to provide updates and support,” added Stephanie. 

“Currently, we’ve made the decision to set all our estimated restoration times to later this evening at 10pm. These estimates will be updated as we are able to access sites to assess the extent of the damage and repairs needed and we can give a more detailed response time. However, given the conditions, particularly regarding access, a small number of properties may remain without power into tomorrow.

“We know it is an extremely difficult time for everybody involved and we’ll continue to provide help and support and we won’t stop until power is restored.”

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