Wales

Storm Emma: Snow brings power cuts and travel chaos

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Media captionMore snow, but things will get back to normal soon, according to Derek Brockway

Power cuts have hit thousands of homes, public transport ground to a halt and more than 1,100 schools were shut as Wales endured a second day of snow.

Met Office yellow "be aware" warnings were in place all day, but the worst of the snow appeared to have passed after a red alert ended early on Friday.

Parts of north Wales were hit by damaging winds from Storm Emma, sinking boats and felling trees.

Natural Resources Wales also issued a small number of flood alerts.

Most train and many bus services in south Wales were suspended and all flights in and out of Cardiff Airport were cancelled.

Motorists were advised not to travel unless absolutely necessary with many roads becoming treacherous.

The Welsh Ambulance Service, along with hospitals in south Wales, put out a call for staff with 4x4 vehicles to help colleagues get into work.

Image copyright Mart Gibson
Image caption A panda takes in the scene in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan
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Media captionThis man went skiing down a Cardiff street

Several health boards were forced to cancel outpatient appointments and routine operations.

St Athan in Vale of Glamorgan had some of the deepest snow in the UK, with 51cm (21in) recorded overnight.

Scottish Power said about 3,000 homes lost power in mid and north Wales at one point - most in and around Aberystwyth, Ceredigion and parts of Gwynedd, although it hoped to restore supplies by the evening.

Western Power also dealt with supply problems at hundreds of properties in south Wales.

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Image caption A house in Llangwm, Conwy
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Media captionSnow in Cardiff city centre early on Friday morning

A number of households in south east Wales reported having no hot water or heating.

Eileen Williams, 88, from Llantwit Major, Vale of Glamorgan, said she had been without heating and hot water for two days.

"I tried to get an engineer from British Gas to come out and called them again and again, but the line just keeps ringing," she added.

Image caption 80 boats have been damaged or sunk due to gales at Holyhead marina
Image copyright Gareth Esplin
Image caption Three people were stranded in this car overnight in Cowbridge

A British Gas spokeswoman said its engineers were working around the clock to try to get to customers.

Three people were rescued from their car by a group of volunteers in Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, after being stranded for 15 hours buried under 7ft (2.1m) of snow overnight.

Image copyright Jamie Gwilliam
Image caption The scene in Pontypool, Torfaen, on Friday morning
Image caption The usually-congested A48 in Cardiff on Friday morning

One homeless charity in Cardiff saw 44 rough sleepers seeking shelter on Thursday night, although a number of people remained on the streets.

Richard Edwards, chief executive of the Huggard Centre - the largest homeless shelter in Cardiff - said: "We have seen people coming in who we normally see on the streets, it's so cold. Their lives are at risk in this weather so we need to get them in."

Meanwhile, business leaders at CBI Wales said "things have just stopped" with the extreme weather affecting trade since Thursday.

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Image caption Blackwood in Caerphilly has seen heavy snowfall
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Image caption The junction 32 (Coryton) sliproad on the M4 eastbound was closed

A small number of vehicles, including lorries, were abandoned along the M4, the Welsh Government said.

The A465 Heads of the Valleys road was also closed for a time between the Gilwern and Brynmawr roundabouts.

And Ceredigion council said several roads had been closed across its area due to fallen trees.

Image caption People in Tenby, Pembrokeshire woke up to this pretty scene
Image caption Cardiff Road in Llandaff, Cardiff on Friday morning

At Holyhead Marina, Anglesey, about 80 boats have been damaged or sunk by Storm Emma.

Numerous weekend sporting events, including football, rugby and ice hockey matches, have been cancelled.

Welsh newspaper titles the Western Mail, South Wales Echo and South Wales Evening Post were not distributed because of disruption to transport on Friday.

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Image caption Wales' health secretary praises the efforts of NHS staff

But not everywhere in Wales faced a deluge of snow. Swansea and Port Talbot were among parts of south west Wales which were relatively unaffected.

A yellow warning for snow and ice for the whole of Wales remains in force until 23:55, with another one due to start at 00:05 on Saturday, lasting until 11:00.

Image caption There is barely any snow on the ground in Port Talbot

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