Beauty and the beast

Date: Monday 5th March 2018

THE best and the worst of what extreme weather can bring have played out in Eden this week — with heavy snowfall and high winds bringing both pristine landscapes and freezing, dangerous road conditions.

The Beast from the East — a weather system blown in from Siberia — has blasted the area, cutting off towns and villages, burying farm animals in feet-high snowdrifts and closing schools and businesses.

As has been shown in the past, the people of Eden pull together when the weather does its worst and across the district residents have mobilised to help themselves and each other.

On Alston Moor — one of the hardest hit areas — an army of volunteers has worked alongside emergency services to deliver essential food and medical supplies when regular deliveries were unable to get through.

Drivers with 4x4 vehicles have turned out to help get carers to their clients in some of the district’s remote villages where roads have been almost impassable.

And mountain rescue volunteers have been working alongside emergency services to keep people safe. Penrith mountain rescue volunteers were even called upon to dig out a snow plough which had become stuck in high drifts near Garrigill, in scenes likened to those of the terrible winter of 1963.

It is said that adversity brings out the best in people and certainly the “Blitz mentality” has been much in evidence this week as people have battled to keep Eden on its feet in the face of an icy challenge from Siberia.