Storm Caroline: 'Worst Isle of Man snow since 2013'

Image source, Department of Infrastructure
Image caption,
Roads have been closed across the island

The Isle of Man's worst snow storms for four years have caused "major travel disruption" across the island, said the government.

All schools were closed on Friday as was the National Sports Centre and University College Isle of Man.

The government said the decision had been taken as a result of "travel difficulties and safety issues".

Director of Highway Services, Jeff Robinson said "it's the worst weather we've seen since 2013."

He added: "We've had relatively little snow since then so it's a bit of a shock to the system for us all."

In March 2013, thousands of livestock died on the Isle of Man after becoming buried in the heaviest snowfall for 40 years.

Image source, Julie Lyness
Image caption,
Manx farmers lost thousands of sheep and cattle during the snow storm of 2013

Noble's Hospital cancelled all outpatient clinics on Friday and advised people to only attend in an emergency.

Travel problems are continuing with roads closures and flight delays to and from the island.

A flight to Birmingham was cancelled and a "small number" of flights to Belfast, Liverpool and Manchester were delayed.

A spokesman at Ronaldsway Airport said some departures were held up as planes had to be de-iced.

Image source, Dick Welsh
Image caption,
Most flights did manage to land at Ronaldsway on Friday

Road conditions have been described as "very bad" and the Department of Infrastructure urged people to "stay indoors after dark if possible".

The Isle of Man Constabulary said its control room had been inundated with calls about road closures and problems with abandoned cars.

A force spokesman added: "It's Christmas party season at the moment so we are appealing for people to be extra mindful about making travel arrangements, especially over the weekend".

Image source, IoM Govt
Image caption,
Noble's Hospital closed its outpatients clinic on Friday

All non-urgent district nurse appointments have been cancelled, as have some GP appointments.

The government has also announced that all of its offices closed at 15:00 GMT.

The Isle of Man Met Office has issued an amber weather warning for ice and snow, which remains in place until 18:00 on Saturday.

Forecasters predict snow or hail showers throughout the day which will "affect all parts of the island".

Image source, IoM Airport
Image caption,
Snow led to some delays at Isle of Man Airport
Image source, Twitter
Image caption,
Extra help was drafted in to get hospital staff into work
Image caption,
A blanket of snow covered the island including the TT Grandstand
Image source, Bel Hughes
Image caption,
There was deep snow near Peel