Snow weather warning – Brits told ‘don’t travel’ as 12ft snowdrifts block roads and -10C plunge could spark heart attacks

Brits have been told not to travel today – as 12ft snowdrifts block major roads and medics warn a -10C polar plunge could cause heart attacks.

Storm Darcy – dubbed the ‘Beast from the East II’ – has brought howling blizzards from Russia to the UK, with millions set to see heavy snow across the country today.

Storm Darcy has brought heavy snow to much of the south-east, including Sevenoaks in Kent

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Storm Darcy has brought heavy snow to much of the south-east, including Sevenoaks in KentCredit: AFP or licensors
A dad took his son on a sledging trip in affluent Primrose Hill, London

A dad took his son on a sledging trip in affluent Primrose Hill, London
Credit: PA: Press Association
Motorists have been urged not to attempt to get behind the wheel - with one Mini driver becoming stranded on a hill in Uppingham, Rutland

Motorists have been urged not to attempt to get behind the wheel – with one Mini driver becoming stranded on a hill in Uppingham, Rutland
Credit: Alamy Live News
In Orford, Suffolk, two Land Rovers were abandoned overnight on a road after heavy snow blanketed both vehicles

In Orford, Suffolk, two Land Rovers were abandoned overnight on a road after heavy snow blanketed both vehiclesCredit: SWNS:South West News Service
Suffolk has been particularly badly-hit, with drivers leaving their cars at the side of the road in Needham Market

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Suffolk has been particularly badly-hit, with drivers leaving their cars at the side of the road in Needham MarketCredit: PA:Press Association
A walker enjoys a view of the Angel of the North in Gateshead

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A walker enjoys a view of the Angel of the North in GatesheadCredit: AP:Associated Press
Richard Squirrell uses a quad bike to give his granddaughter Florence a ride in the snow in Wattisham, Suffolk

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Richard Squirrell uses a quad bike to give his granddaughter Florence a ride in the snow in Wattisham, SuffolkCredit: PA:Press Association
Millions will see snow today

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Millions will see snow today

In Suffolk, drifts taller than a snowplough have already fallen – while treacherous conditions have shut roads in Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Cumbria, Derbyshire and Hertfordshire.

Meanwhile, health chiefs have issued a cold weather alert for the whole of the country, saying the chill could have “a serious impact on health”.

And emergency services have told people to stay away from the sea after a man who is believed to have been kite-surfing died on a Suffolk beach yesterday.

Desperate passers-by battled to save the man, who was in his 50s. However, he died at the scene.

A huge crack has appeared on the clifftop at Seaford Head in East Sussex during the freezing weather.

Coastguard officials have warned members of the public to keep away amid fears of a collapse.

Temperatures won’t rise above freezing in many areas of the UK, the Met Office said.

Amber warnings of snow blasts have been issued for Sheffield, Lincoln and Nottingham, as well as swathes of the east coast between Norwich and Dover in Kent.

Yellow warnings are also in place between the Northern Isles of Scotland and the southern coast of England.

Around 12 inches of snow are forecast in the hardest-hit areas.

However, council teams clearing roads near village Hitcham in Suffolk shared images of 12ft drifts taller than their snowplough.

Meanwhile, 40 cars and lorries are blocking the A6003 in Uppingham, Rutland.

A van fire has caused delays on the A229 near Maidstone in Kent this morning.

Horse Guards Parade in London was dusted with snow as the snow rose

Horse Guards Parade in London was dusted with snow as the snow rose
Credit: London News Pictures
Maidstone has seen heavy snowfall overnight

Maidstone has seen heavy snowfall overnight
Credit
: (c) UkNewsinPictures
Cars at a showroom near Detling in Kent were buried under thick snow

Cars at a showroom near Detling in Kent were buried under thick snow
Credit: �2021 Stephen Lock / i-Images
Drifts of snow were cleared from the car park of a McDonald's in Kent

Drifts of snow were cleared from the car park of a McDonald’s in Kent
Credit: (c) UkNewsinPictures
Roads in the south-eastern country were impassable this morning after the bad weather

Roads in the south-eastern country were impassable this morning after the bad weather
Credit: (c) UkNewsinPictures
The snow was so heavy in Hampstead Heath this morning that one thrill-seeker took her boogie board out

The snow was so heavy in Hampstead Heath this morning that one thrill-seeker took her boogie board out
Credit: London News Pictures

It’s reported the driver turned up the heating to clear the windscreen of snow before the blaze began.

On the rails, Greater Anglia has cancelled 59 of its services including all services to and from Walton-on-the-Naze, where the line is blocked by a two-and-a-half foot snowdrift.

Southeastern rail has also cancelled a number of services and “strong advises” passengers not to attempt travel.

It said the Maidstone East line will be closed today and added: “Given the severity of the forecast some routes are closed with no replacement transport available.”

Southern Railway has also cancelled trains.

Forecasters have warned of “significant disruptive snowfall” and gale-force winds in the south-east of England. Up to 12 inches of snow possible in the Downs of Kent and the North Downs, they say.

And key workers are facing challenges as hundreds of schools shut to youngsters.

In Norfolk alone, around 350 schools are closed today because of the snow and ice.

Norfolk County Council said 349 of the county’s 422 schools were closed on Monday morning.

Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Kent and Medway have all been hit by heavy snow today.

Cops across the country say Brits should stay indoors and not try to drive.

Forces in parts of Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex urged people to stay at home after roads because “impassable”.

A Tesco delivery van makes its way along a road covered in snow near Ashford in Kent this morning

A Tesco delivery van makes its way along a road covered in snow near Ashford in Kent this morning
Credit: PA:Press Association
Members of The Blues and Royals exercise their horses on a snowy Horse Guards parade in central London just before dawn

Members of The Blues and Royals exercise their horses on a snowy Horse Guards parade in central London just before dawn
Credit: London News Pictures
A man walks his dog at Hampstead Heath in north London

A man walks his dog at Hampstead Heath in north London
Credit: London News Pictures
Fresh snowfall over the village of Haddenham in Cambridgeshire

Fresh snowfall over the village of Haddenham in Cambridgeshire
Credit: GEOFF ROBINSON.
The NHS Covid-19 vaccination centre at the Jobserve Community Stadium in Colchester was forced to close due to snow on Sunday

The NHS Covid-19 vaccination centre at the Jobserve Community Stadium in Colchester was forced to close due to snow on Sunday
Credit: PA: Press Association
Thurston village in Suffolk was transformed into a wintry wonderland

Thurston village in Suffolk was transformed into a wintry wonderland
Credit: � Terry Harris
Huge waves hit the Headland Pier in Hartlepool today

Huge waves hit the Headland Pier in Hartlepool today
Credit: Jordan Crosby
Huge waves break over South Shields Pier in Tyne and Wear

Huge waves break over South Shields Pier in Tyne and Wear
Credit: Cover Images

Highways teams say conditions are “worsening” – and the weather is as bad as the 2018 Beast from the East.

At least 10 Covid vaccination centres across Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk have now been forced to close as a result of heavy snow and ice.

Clacton Hospital, Colchester United’s stadium, Gainsborough Sports Centre in Ipswich and Chevington Close in Bury St Edmunds are all shut.

Temperatures have been forced lower by 50mph winds blasting in from Ukraine and the Black Sea.

Dr Owen Landeg of Public Health England said the cold will threaten lives.

“For older people and those with heart and lung problems, it can increase the risks of heart attacks, strokes and chest infections,” he said.

Met Office chief meteorologist Paul Gundersen said: “The UK is in for a notably cold and snowy period over the next week, with very cold air in place over the whole of the UK.”

Snow began to accumulate yesterday – but plenty more is expected, he warned.

“We could see 5-10cm of snow quite widely, with a chance that a few places could see 20cm or more,” he said.

“With such severe weather around it’s important to keep up to date with the latest forecast.”

In Maidstone, a van burst into flames on the A229 after the driver turned on the heater in a bid to clear snow from the windscreen

In Maidstone, a van burst into flames on the A229 after the driver turned on the heater in a bid to clear snow from the windscreen
Credit: (c) UkNewsinPictures
The snow has caused chaos on the roads, with one crash taking place on a carriageway in Hexham, Northumberland

The snow has caused chaos on the roads, with one crash taking place on a carriageway in Hexham, Northumberland
Credit: North News and Pictures
One hardy runner didn't miss the opportunity to jog through a blizzard in Newcastle

One hardy runner didn’t miss the opportunity to jog through a blizzard in Newcastle
Credit: North News and Pictures
York has been hit by serious flooding - just weeks after Storm Christoph caused chaos

York has been hit by serious flooding – just weeks after Storm Christoph caused chaos
Credit: NB PRESSS LTD
Traffic struggling through the snow on the A249 in Kent

Traffic struggling through the snow on the A249 in Kent
Credit: �2021 Stephen Lock / i-Images

Dr Landeg urged people to check on vulnerable neighbours.

“It’s really crucial at this time to remember to check on frail or older neighbours or relatives, especially those living alone or who have serious illnesses,” he said.

“Make a call, or socially-distanced doorstep visit if they live close by, to remind them of some simple but important health tips such as heating their home to at least 18C and to keep up-to-date with the forecast.

“It’s also helpful to check they have enough food and drinks and any medicines they need.

“This will help them to stay warm and stay well.”

Yesterday, meteorologist Sarah Kent told Brits to brace for an onslaught of cold weather.

She said: “There will be significant disruptive snowfall across the south-east.

“Within this area, there is a small chance particularly over the Downs of Kent and the North Downs that you could see 25-30cm of snow.

“It is a small chance but the threat is there, up to a foot of snow potentially combined with extremely strong easterly winds. Even inland in that area, gusting could be 45mph and higher than that on the coasts.

“This could lead to significant drifting of any lying snow and obviously blizzards for the snow coming past you for anyone who is attempting to travel.

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