Hundreds left stranded for hours by snow in County Durham

HUNDREDS of motorists were left stranded in their cars for up to five hours when snow brought one of region’s main routes to a standstill.

Hundreds of motorists gridlocked in snow on the A66 in County Durham
Hundreds of motorists gridlocked in snow on the A66 in County Durham

HUNDREDS of motorists were left stranded in their cars for up to five hours when snow brought one of region’s main routes to a standstill.

And with yet another weather warning issued for heavy snow across the North East today, more disruption could be on its way.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for the region until 6pm this evening.

While snow brought chaos yesterday to parts of County Durham and the A66 came to a standstill, Northumberland is now set to be hardest hit.

Forecasters predicted five to 10cm (two to four inches) is widely expected at low levels, with 15 to 25cm (six to 10ins) possible over upland areas.

Strong to gale-force easterly winds will drift the snow, especially over high ground, where blizzard conditions are expected and could cause further problems in terms of snow clearance.

Ice on power lines is likely and could result in temporary interruptions to power supplies. John Lee, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, said: “By Wednesday, it starts to ease off. Through the course of Wednesday, the snow showers will retreat back, mainly affecting the North Sea coast.

“Because of the strong easterly winds in the North, many parts of the North East and Scotland will struggle to get above three degrees.”

He added that temperatures could potentially drop as low as -10C (14F) or even -15C (5F), depending on how much snow arrives and the wind direction. Yesterday, tailbacks on the A66 stretched back for 15 miles after heavy snow began falling and a lorry lost traction, blocking the route.

Motorists were left crawling along for up to five hours as they waited for it to re-open fully.

Around five to six inches of snow covered the ground, and the road was closed in both directions between Stainmore and Barnard Castle as snow ploughs cleared and treated the road.

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