Stoke & Staffordshire

Heavy snow hits power supplies to 1,600 homes across Staffordshire.

Around 1,600 homes in Staffordshire were left without power in the early morning following heavy snow.

Western Power said the majority of the houses in Stafford, Hixon and Weston had supplies restored by 08:45 GMT.

Police said cars had become stranded in parts of the Staffordshire Moorlands and had to be towed out of snow drifts.

Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council said gritting teams were working around the clock to treat the roads.

Pete Price from the city council said: "We've put down lots of grit on the main roads for the traffic to actually work into the snow so that will help.

"Inevitably there are going to be traffic delays but we are still out there trying to focus on more of the minor roads particularly in the hillier areas."

The authority said it had a full stock of grit to deal with the problems.

Heavy snow caused the closure of about 170 schools in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

'Blizzard conditions'

Staffordshire Police said they had been called out to a number of accidents due to the bad weather.

The A53 Leek to Buxton road and the A34 in Brocton also had to be closed for about five hours, the force said.

They advised people to drive only if they had to and to take extra time for their journeys.

Linda Malyon from Ipstones in the Staffordshire Moorlands said the wind had caused big snow drifts in the area.

She said: "It's freezing as soon as it hits the ground, there's not as much snow compared with what we normally get but the wind is whipping it around and causing very dangerous conditions.

"The roads are white all over, I have seen buses and the bin men pass by this morning but they've had to go much more cautiously than normal."

The Met Office said an amber weather warning had been issued, meaning disruption to transport.

First Bus said all but 11 of its services were running as normal.

Alton Towers theme park said it was closed because of the bad weather.

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