British travel, power upset by heavy snow

March 23, 2013 at 1:56 PM
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LONDON, March 23 (UPI) -- Roads and airports have been closed, and sports events canceled, after wintry weather disrupted travel and power across the United Kingdom, officials said.

Britain's national weather service has urged people to stay aware of conditions as snow falling across northern and central parts of the country was expected to move to the south and southeast, the BBC reported Saturday.

Hundreds of schools were closed across Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England Friday. More than 200,000 homes and businesses were left without electrical power in Belfast. By late Friday, 14,000 customers in Scotland were without power.

About 70 motorists were rescued from snowdrifts in Cambria, while police and mountain rescue teams helped people stuck on the A595, a major highway in the region.

Gary Parsons, a member of Bay Search and Rescue, said that while only about a foot of snow had fallen on flat fields, winds had whipped up drifts 14 and 15 feet high along hedges and walls.

Trains are not running between Leeds and Carlisle. All flights have been cancelled at Leeds Bradford airport, Humberside Airport and East Midlands Airport.

The National Grid attempted to allay fears the prolonged cold snap could cause the country to run out of natural gas, asserting "plenty of gas" was available.

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