Power cuts and pile-ups in freezing North and Scotland

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The Independent Online

The wintry weather that battered much of Britain over the weekend continued with a vengeance yesterday, bringing chaos to the roads and leaving three people dead.

The wintry weather that battered much of Britain over the weekend continued with a vengeance yesterday, bringing chaos to the roads and leaving three people dead.

In Scotland, which was the worst hit, ice and snow drifts of up to 20 feet closed many roads and prevented thousands of children attending school.

As the south of England basked in unusually mild temperatures, with 13C (55F) predicted in London today, there was no prospect of an early let-up to the snow blanketing parts of Scotland, with more forecast overnight.

In the north of England a man died when a car and a snowplough collided head-on, on the A68 at Heighington, near Darlington. Ian Close, 39, was the rear-seat passenger in a Peugeot 306 that was incollision with the Darlington Borough Council snowplough and gritter.

The car is thought to have spun through 180 degrees before its back end slammed into the gritter on an unlit bend. The two survivors of the crash were yesterday "comfortable'' in hospital.

On Sunday, Kevin Scott, 20, a garage worker, was swept to his death by a freak wave while walking near a pier at the mouth of the river Tees.

Further north in Aberdeenshire, the council said more than 100 schools in its area were closed by the weather. Police described the situation as "horrendous'', with further serious disruption in Grampian expected today.

About 3,000 homes were left without electricity in Scotland yesterday morning after snow damaged power lines.

Even Scotland's ski resorts could find no cheer in the conditions. They were forced to close because of high winds and drifting snow.

There was 14cm (6in) of snow lying in Aberdeen, 19cm at Eskdalemuir in Dumfriesshire and 20cm at Fylingdales on the North York Moors, with similar amounts in the Pennines.

As snow hit the North, torrential rain was bringing disruption and dangerous conditions to the South. A man was killed when his Peugeot 405 was washed away as he tried to negotiate a ford near Landford on the border of Hampshire and Wiltshire, and there was widespread flooding in Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Warwickshire.

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