Wales weather: More snow due after heavy fall

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Media captionNorth Wales Police said all main road routes were passable with care

Heavy snow is expected to continue for hours in north and mid Wales after falls closed hundreds of schools and brought chaos on the roads.

It is likely to be the heaviest fall for the time of year in north east Wales since 1979.

More than 200 schools closed and homes lost electricity supplies.

About 600 customers were left without power with the Dee Valley the worst affected area and rail travel on the North Wales Coast line was disrupted.

Scottish Power said engineers were trying to reach people who were without power but conditions were very difficult.

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Media captionIt is likely to be the heaviest fall for the time of year in north east Wales since 1979

The main area affected was the Dee Valley, but there were also outages around Wrexham and Holywell.

The company apologised and said it was hard to say when people would be reconnected.

Arriva Trains Wales had advised people not to travel on the line between Holyhead and Chester after a power cable came down, but later said the line reopened after repairs.

Despite several weather-related crashes, North Wales Police said all main road routes were passable with care.

In Denbighshire, a mountain rescue team freed a man and two children who had been stuck in their car in the snow since 01:00 GMT on the A5104 north of Corwen, where there were drifts 8ft deep.

In the north west of Wales, avalanche warnings were placed on Snowdonia's peaks.

Forecasters have said more of the same weather conditions are expected overnight and into Saturday.

The Met Office said it was already known to be the heaviest snowfall for late March since 2001, when 10-15cm (4-6in) was widespread at lower levels.

Forecasters said they expect the snowfall to be about 15-20cm (6-8in) making it the heaviest snowfall in the area for 34 years.

The bad weather arrived, as forecast, to coincide with the rush hour on Friday morning, and motorists and rail journeys were affected.

The weather also spread into mid and some parts of south Wales.

Teenagers on an outdoor education trip were rescued from the highest road pass in Wales in blizzard conditions on Thursday night.

Abergavenny-based Longtown Mountain Rescue Team was called to the aid of the four youngsters and their trainer who had become stranded in their minibus on the top of Gospel Pass, between Abergavenny in Monmouthshire and Hay-on-Wye, Powys.

They used two specially-equipped Land Rovers to reach the group, who were trapped in a snowdrift at 1,800ft.

The rescue took four hours and the teenagers, from Pontypool, Torfaen, were taken back at midnight to the outdoor education centre in Cusop, Herefordshire.

Clinics cancelled

Ch Insp Dan Tipton, from North Wales Police, said: "Motorists in the counties of Wrexham and Flintshire are being urged to take extreme care on the roads, and if possible to travel only on main routes - avoiding travelling on all unclassified and minor roads."

The A548 at Oakenholt, near Flint, and the Horseshoe pass in Denbighshire, was closed.

All schools in Flintshire were closed.

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Image caption The weight of snow and heavy winds brought a number of trees down

Outpatient clinics at Wrexham Maelor hospital were cancelled.

A Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board spokesperson said all patients would be contacted to rearrange appointments.

There was an appeal too for patients to be mindful of choosing the right treatment over the coming weekend to "free up emergency medical care for those facing life-threatening illness or injuries".

On the roads scores of weather-related accidents affected traffic and the main A55 dual carriageway was blocked westbound near Bangor, Gwynedd, after a lorry was blown over, causing long tailbacks.

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Media captionHywel Griffith in the snow in Mold, Flintshire

The other main route across north Wales, the A5, was blocked by fallen trees between Llangollen and Corwen and snow closed the A5104 between Llandegla and Corwen, and the Horseshoe Pass, near Llangollen.

Denbighshire council said there were deep drifts in many places in the county.

A council spokesman said: "At the moment the crews in the south are concentrating on keeping the A roads open as conditions are particularly difficult on the A494 at the Clwyd Gate and along the A525 between Ruthin and Wrexham.

"Crews in the north are working on Rhuallt Hill on the A55 and in the Tremeirchion area where conditions are again relatively bad."

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