Wintry weather wreaks havoc in Britain

Feb. 6, 2009 at 9:58 PM
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LONDON, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Heavy snow maintained its grip on Britain for a fifth day Friday, with poor conditions snarling travel and bringing down power lines.

A man died in Wales of suspected hyperthermia, The Independent reported. David Edwards, 22, of Ebbw Vale was found collapsed on the side of a road and taken to a hospital, where he died hours later.

Meteorologists said that the snow is the heaviest to hit the country since the 1970s. The worst conditions Friday were in the west with power companies struggling to restore electricity to thousands of homes in Devon and Gloucestershire.

In Devon, more than 200 people had to be rescued from cars after they were trapped by heavy snow Thursday night, The Daily Telegraph reported.

In North Tawton, Devon, a woman in labor was taken to a hospital via fire engine after an ambulance and helicopter couldn't get through the snow. She delivered twin girls and hospital officials said mother and daughters were fine.

This week's weather forced thousands of schools across Britain to close and left travelers stranded from delays in airports, train stations and bus service.

Local government officials said they were running out of salt and sand to treat roads.

Officials said the country faced a "road safety crisis," the Telegraph said, and called on the British government to ask other countries for emergency supplies of salt. Around 40,000 tons of salt was on the way from Spain.

Forecasters predicted icy temperatures Saturday with little or no snow. But more snow was expected Sunday.

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