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The BBC's Catherine Marston in County Durham
"People here are used to harsh winters"
 real 56k

The BBC's Andrew Cassell in Scotland
"Power lines were also damaged by the cold and high winds"
 real 56k

Monday, 5 February, 2001, 16:16 GMT
Motorists warned over snow and floods
A snow plough gets to work in Scotland
Snow closed many roads in Scotland and the north of England
Motorists are being urged to make only essential journeys in the parts of Scotland and England hit by heavy snowfall and flooding.

Police across the UK are warning that travel conditions will remain treacherous in many areas on Monday evening and overnight.

A motorist died in Wiltshire after his car was swept along a swollen stream on Sunday night when he attempted to cross it at a ford.

Fog and snow on the A1
Many roads are impassable
The man tried to cross a tributary of the Black Water river near Landford. He was found trapped underneath a bridge on Monday morning by a policewoman.

The car has been removed from the scene and is being examined by police.

There was no flood warning in force on the stream, but an Environment Agency spokeswoman said: "Two feet of fast-flowing water is enough to sweep a car away."

Police have warned that motorists should take great care on some major roads because of flooding.

A number of minor roads are closed in Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Warwickshire because of the floods.

A severe flood warning is in place on the River Kim in Huntingdonshire.

Deadly weather

A man died when a car collided with a snow plough on a snow-covered road in County Durham on Sunday.

Rear seat passenger Ian Close, 39, from the Darlington area, died "almost instantly" when the car collided with the Darlington Borough Council snow plough on the A68 near Heighington, say police.

Two other people were injured in the accident.

At South Gare, in Co Durham, a teenage boy died when he was swept into the North Sea as he walked along the coastline.

He was in a group with three other youths, all from Middlesbrough, who were washed into the water by the pier entrance to the River Tees on Sunday afternoon.

Resort closures

Further south, a couple who prompted a major search after failing to return from a walk in snow-covered hills in north Yorkshire on Sunday afternoon have been found safe and well.

The couple, from Bingley, West Yorkshire, had stayed overnight with friends in a nearby village.

Drifting snow forced the closure of many minor roads in the north of England and made a number of major A roads impassable on Monday.

Police in the Scottish Borders described the situation as "horrendous", with further serious disruption in Grampian.

A boy scrapes snow off car
The bad weather is set to continue
Also in Scotland, power was restored to thousands of homes by Monday afternoon after approximately 3,000 customers were left without any electricity after snow damaged power lines.

By early afternoon, all except 150 homes had their power restored, according to a spokesman for Hydro-Electric.

The worst affected areas were in Argyll, the Isle of Arran and Tayside.

The BBC weather centre has warned the bad weather will continue with temperatures in the north of the UK expected to remain around freezing.

Schools have also been affected by the big freeze in Scotland.

All schools are closed in Shetland and 70 schools have been shut in Aberdeenshire, which represents half the county's total.

The bad weather has even failed to bring cheer to Scotland's ski resorts - they were forced to close due to high winds and drifting snow.

Information about flood warnings in England and Wales is available on 0845 9881188.

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See also:

30 Dec 00 | Talking Point
Snow trouble: How is it for you?
29 Dec 00 | Scotland
Snow freezes fixture list
29 Dec 00 | Wales
Cold snap brings road dangers
28 Dec 00 | Scotland
Snow causes havoc for Scots
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