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Lynton mayor thanks rescuers who freed villages trapped by snow

PUBLISHED: 13:24 05 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:24 05 March 2018

A&B Groundworks clearing the A399 between Blackmoor Gate and Challacombe. Picture: A&B Groundworks

A&B Groundworks clearing the A399 between Blackmoor Gate and Challacombe. Picture: A&B Groundworks

Archant

The mayor of cut off Lynton and Lynmouth has praised the many heroes who have worked tirelessly to reach the snow bound villages and keep the community going.

The main road through Lynton. Picture: Naomi Gubb-Fradgley The main road through Lynton. Picture: Naomi Gubb-Fradgley

Suzette Hibbert was speaking today (Monday) and said life was slowly returning to normal in the twin villages after being cut off for three days by huge snow drifts, some up to 15 feet high.

Devon County Council staff and contractors, including A and B Contractors at Kentisbury, have been working with snow ploughs, snow blowers and heavy machinery to cut a path through to the trapped communities.

However, several outlying communities including Woody Bay, Martinhoe and Slade Lane remain cut off as of Monday, the county council has said.

It also said the thaw had caused snow drifts to collapse on to the road at Barbrook, once again blocking access.

Heavy snow drifts on the A399 near Blackmoor Gate. Picture: Leah Williams Heavy snow drifts on the A399 near Blackmoor Gate. Picture: Leah Williams

The ‘beast from the east’ brought strong winds and blizzard conditions that saw massive snow drifts pile up on main roads, including the A399 around Blackmoor Gate and the main A39 into Lynton.

People across Exmoor have been snowed in and badly affected - Linda and Gary Wright at Barton Farm in Kentisbury told the Gazette on Friday night they had to throw away 3,500 litres of milk because both hills either side of the farm were blocked by snow and the tanker could not get through.

Mrs Hibbert said on Monday it was likely to be a couple of days before life returned to normal.

She said the villages had plenty of food, but had run short on essential supplies such as bread and milk.

This is near Lynton, not the Himalayas. Picture: Barnaby Haynes This is near Lynton, not the Himalayas. Picture: Barnaby Haynes

She praised numerous people, including Dr Glen Allaway, who slept in his surgery at Lynton Health Centre for the duration, as well as the fire fighters and coastguards who were based at Lynton Fire Station around the clock.

She added: “The county council and A and B Contractors have been absolutely fabulous, they worked so hard to get to us and just kept going overnight, it was so good to see them appear, plus the farmers and the tractor drivers who pulled out all the stops.

“Thank you to a community who pulled together and cared for each other, especially those who went that bit further than is normally expected.”

Working to clear the roads near Lynton. Picture: Carl Metcalfe Working to clear the roads near Lynton. Picture: Carl Metcalfe

Heavy snow drifts have blocked the roads around Lynton and Lynmouth. Picture: Carl Metcalfe Heavy snow drifts have blocked the roads around Lynton and Lynmouth. Picture: Carl Metcalfe

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