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A blanket of snow brought chaos to schools, roads and services in Worcestershire
WORCESTERSHIRE turned white today as the county was covered with about 10cm of snow in 18 hours.
Roads were blocked and schools and businesses shut as people struggled to get around in the snowy conditions.
An amber warning remained in place throughout the day from the Met Office but has been downgraded to a lesser 'be aware' yellow warning for tomorrow.
Frank Hill, a weather expert from Malvern, said: “I don’t think we will see the snow thaw for a while yet as the cold air comes in again over the weekend.
"I think there is a risk of a bit of light snow on Sunday afternoon. The first half of next week will remain cold with temperatures down to between -4C and -8C.”
More snow is forecast across the weekend for the county. Flurries of snow are expected at around 3pm tomorrow and again at about 8pm in the evening.
The bad weather will then continue as the Met Office predicts snow Sunday morning and again on Monday and Tuesday.
Main routes around Worcester became blocked as a result of the weather and across the county small accidents shut down roads.
A bus skidded in the heavy snow and hit a car in Malvern at 9.17am in Pickersleigh Road, Malvern. The ambulance service and police were called to the crash but no one was injured. The scene was cleared by 9.38am.
A tanker blocked London Road in Worcester at around 12.30pm after coming to a standstill on the hill. Worcestershire County Council sent a gritter and a plough to help the vehicle get moving again and the road was cleared by around 2.30pm.
The main Worcester to Hereford road, A4103, was also obstructed by a jack knifed lorry this morning.
The ambulance service reported a 19 per cent rise in incidents between midnight and 1pm on Friday with more people having falls in the snow.
Due to the dangerous conditions Worcestershire Royal Hospital was asking people not to visit the hospital, which is already closed to visitors due to four wards being affected by norovirus, for appointments where unnecessary.
Other services were impacted by the snow fall with Worcester City Council having to close its sports centres at Nunnery Wood and St John’s because of the snow.
It hopes to re-open them today but will be making a final decision this morning depending on the conditions.
Worcester City Council completed collections along the main roads in Warndon and Gorse Hill, but the bad weather made it impossible for rubbish lorries to get down smaller streets. People have been asked to leave their bins out and they will be emptied as soon as possible.
In Wychavon crews were switched to provide support with snow clearance and gritting in town centre car parks.
A spokesman for the council apologised and said: “Those affected today should put excess refuse or recycling in sacks next to your bin for the next collection in two weeks’ time.”
Gritters worked around the clock in Worcestershire with crews treating designated routes with salt since 2pm yesterday and ploughing since the early hours of this morning.
John Fraser from Worcestershire County Council said they had five vehicles out this afternoon.
But David Merritt, of Lansdowne Road, said there hadn’t been enough gritting and that was why the city came to a standstill.
Although several trains were delayed or cancelled during the morning, most train services ran as scheduled.
Several London Midland services between Hereford and Birmingham were delayed or cut short, due to signalling problems between Hereford and Ledbury.
Two First Great Western services between Hereford and London Paddington were also cancelled due to a train fault.
Bus services across the county were also cancelled with a full list available on the Worcestershire County Council website.
Sport and theatre productions were effected with last nights Worcester Wolves game postponed due to the weather.
Kay’s Theatre Group has been forced to postpone its opening night performance of Dick Whittington tonight because of a leak caused by melting snow from the roof of The Swan Theatre.
The I Will Wedding show which was due to take place at The Wood Norton Hotel in Evesham on Sunday has been postponed.