Team effort as Eden battles the Beast

Date: Friday 2nd March 2018
A Penrith mountain rescue team member digs out a snow plough which was stranded in drifts near Garrigill.
A Penrith mountain rescue team member digs out a snow plough which was stranded in drifts near Garrigill.

HEAVY snow blanketed Eden this week as the Siberian weather system dubbed the Beast from the East brought sub-zero temperatures and severe disruption.

Schools and roads were closed and multiple collisions were reported as lorries jack-knifed and vehicles were abandoned in some areas. The rail network was hit by delays and cancellations while a major highways project on the A66 near Keswick was postponed. Works planned for the A686 at Alston on Monday were called off yesterday.

Members of the emergency services and volunteers worked together to deliver vital supplies to areas that were cut off, invoking what was described as a "Blitz" mentality.

Although snow is forecast to ease today, strong winds and low temperatures are creating snow flurries and ice, and there are reports of trees having fallen in the wind.

Cumbria police advise people to travel only if is essential. Police say all agencies are working together to keep the roads clear with significant resources out overnight and this morning.

Emergency services and partner agencies have been gritting roads, ploughing, rescuing stranded individuals, providing supplies to vulnerable people and attending incidents.

At Penrith last night, two fire engines were called to a vehicle trapped in a snowdrift near Raiselands Croft. In the 30-minute rescue, one person was rescued from the vehicle and given oxygen.

Mountain rescue teams from across the district have worked tirelessly, helping stranded motorists on snow-filled minor roads and reaching cut-off areas, helping dig out stranded snow ploughs on the way.

Several roads across the county have been closed and agencies are working on the A66 to clear the carriageway.

Superintendent Matt Kennerley, of Cumbria police, said: “I want to thank the people of Cumbria for their support and co-operation during this ongoing adverse weather. I also want to thank officers and all of our partner agencies whose response has been overwhelming, with many putting themselves in danger to assist the public and keep Cumbria safe.

“We would still urge you not to drive unless it is essential. We are all working hard to get roads safely reopened."

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