Snowfalls bring chaos to Scotland and North

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The Independent Online

Motorists in Scotland and northern England were urged to avoid all non-essential journeys yesterday because of heavy snowfalls, while those in eastern England faced downpours and the possibility of renewed flooding.

Motorists in Scotland and northern England were urged to avoid all non-essential journeys yesterday because of heavy snowfalls, while those in eastern England faced downpours and the possibility of renewed flooding.

The severe weather warnings came after a boy drowned near the mouth of the river Tees. He was one of four teenagers who were swept by a wave into the sea near a pier being battered by gale-force winds.

The two boys and two sisters were in the water for "a few minutes" at 4pm before swimming to shore. The victim, who has not been named, was dead on arrival at Middlesbrough General Hospital.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "With the water temperature down to seven or eight degrees, survival time is measured in minutes rather than hours."

The weather threatened to bring chaos to many parts of Britain. Police in Cambridgeshire said the river Kim was expected to burst its banks. Rainfall in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk left many minor roads impassable. The wet weather is not likely to ease today.

Drifting snow in north-east Scotland, Fife, Tayside and the Borders forced the closure of minor roads while snow ploughs battled to keep main routes clear.

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