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Britain struggles under heavy snowfall

Jan. 18, 2013 at 9:53 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Up to 6 inches of snow in Britain has resulted in widespread school closures, flight cancellations and public transportation snags, officials said Friday.

The snow began falling over much of England, Northern Ireland and Wales in the pre-dawn hours Friday and is expected to continue with up to 7 inches forecast for Northern Ireland Saturday, The Daily Telegraph reported.

More than 400 schools in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, 300 in Norfolk, 300 in Gloucestershire and 1,100 in Wales have been closed, the BBC reported.

Approximately 10,000 homes in Wales are without power due to the weather.

London's Heathrow Airport canceled 70 flights and Bristol and Southampton airports said their runways were closed due to the snow accumulation. British Airways canceled more than 60 flights and offered free flight changes to customers during the weekend.

Officials have asked residents to refrain from any unnecessary travel, the BBC reported.

"During periods of severe weather we also suggest people consider whether their journey is essential," said Steve Crosthwaite, head of the National Traffic Operations Center.

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