Snow causes traffic jams on major roads and closes 200 schools

Media caption,
Snow has made driving conditions tricky across parts of Wales

Heavy snow has caused traffic problems and led to widespread school closures.

A Met Office yellow "be aware" warning said up to 8in (20cm) of snow could fall in some areas between 00:05 GMT on Friday and 18:00 on Saturday.

Nearly 200 schools were closed and several major roads were affected, with delays continuing into Friday evening.

The A55 in Denbighshire was closed for a few hours after several accidents and highways officals warned of "hazardous" driving conditions into the weekend.

Motorists have been warned to expect more delays as snow showers continue as there has been an amber warning issued for heavy snow on Sunday when some rural communities could be cut off.

The A55 reopened by 16:00 but sections just east of St Asaph were said to be particularly treacherous.

Image caption,
Bala is among the places to get a good dusting of snow

There was queuing traffic due on the A494 near the B5429 at Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd and the A465 between Tredegar and Brynmawr in Blaenau Gwent.

Drivers were also warned about conditions on the A5 at Chirk, Wrexham and a stretch of the A483 between Newtown and Welshpool in Powys was described as "treacherous" by police.

Dyfed-Powys Police asked for the road to be re-gritted but advised motorists to avoid the road unless their journey was essential.

Wrexham council said gritters would be out from 15:00 and would run continuously for 24 hours.

Image source, Eluned Yaxley
Image caption,
A gritter came off the road between Denbigh and Trefnant

The Red Cross said its emergency response volunteers had been helping Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board by transporting staff, equipment and blood supplies to hospitals.

Emergency response operations manager for Wales, Rob Donovan said: "We were asked by the health board on Friday morning to offer support and we have been assisting them in a number of ways throughout the day.

"The work we have done is in line with a long-standing arrangement with Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board whereby the Red Cross supports health professionals in north Wales during periods of adverse weather."

Media caption,
Footage by Kiera Millard shows the conditions on the A5 near Wrexham

Interruption of power supplies in some rural areas is also possible.

Western Power Distribution, covering mid, west and south Wales, said the public can access their power cut map online.

Scottish Power customers across north Wales can check supply status in their postcode checker.

Image source, Harry Legge-Bourke
Image caption,
The Black Mountains are covered in snow
Media caption,
Let it snow - fun for pooch Humphrey

Arriva Trains Wales are also advising commuters to check before travelling while rail passengers on other services are urged to check their train status ahead of travel.

Cardiff Airport is not expecting disruption but they have warned passengers to keep an eye on their live flight information.

Welsh Water warned customers their pipes could freeze or burst when temperatures fall, costing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

It is offering free lagging kits - warm coverings around the outside of exposed pipes - to customers to protect pipe work.

Media caption,
Sue Charles with the weather forecast
Image source, David O'Brien
Image caption,
Traffic built up on Rhuallt Hill in Denbighshire after snow fell on Friday

Denbighshire council said it was prepared for the wintry weather with salt stocks at its three depots and its highways team geared up to work around the clock to keep the main A and B roads and roads connecting villages open.

Conwy council said it was "well prepared for winter weather", with 11,000 tonnes of rocksalt in stock and a fleet of 13 gritting lorries working out of three depots.

Gwynedd council said whenever snow or ice was predicted priority routes were pre-treated with salt and grit.

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