Snow misery returns to North Devon

PERSISTENT snow returned to much of North Devon this morning (Sunday) compounding travel difficulties and making life a misery for many elderly residents trying to keep warm. Many minor roads, already covered in ice were extremely treacherous and many outlying vi

PERSISTENT snow returned to much of North Devon this morning (Sunday) compounding travel difficulties and making life a misery for many elderly residents trying to keep warm.

Many minor roads, already covered in ice were extremely treacherous and many outlying villages were either cut off or approachable only by four-wheel drive vehicles.

In Mortehoe, 400 homes lost their heating when water got into a mains gas supply pipe.

Engineers from Wales and West Utilities were soon on the scene. An emergency centre was established in the Ship Aground pub, where emergency electrichot plates and heaters were handed out.

By this morning, the company was able to report that the problem had been fixed.

A statement on the company website stated: "Engineers will begin visiting each property affected from around 9am to purge and re-light gas supplies. We anticipate all supplies will be restored this afternoon.

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"An incident room is still being operated in the Ship Aground public house in Mortehoe and local people can call in if they have specific queries. Alternative cooking and heating equipment has been distributed to vulnerable customers in the area.

"We would like to apologise to residents for the inconvenience this incident is causing and assure them that we are working as quickly as possible to resolve the situation."

Schools and colleges in Nort hDevon are planning to go ahead with examinations due to start tomorrow (Monday).

Students from outlying areas are being urged to try to get to college if it is safe to do so.

Petroc, formerly North Devon College, is going ahead with examinations tomorrow even if the college is closed for teaching.

A statement on its website said: "We are unable to move these exams to alternative dates in January as the timetable is fixed by the awarding bodies and applies nationally.

"We urge all students to attend, but only if it is safe for you to make the journey into college. Please allow plenty of time for your journey in case there are difficulties."

Great Torrington School, however, has cancelled its mock exams due to take place tomorrow and Tuersday.

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