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EDITIONS
Friday, 31 January, 2003, 08:54 GMT
Homes cut off by storms
Snowy road
Many roads remain blocked by snow on Friday
Thousands of homes in the East Midlands remain without power after snow and strong winds.

A spokesman for East Midlands Electricity said about 30,000 homes and businesses were without power overnight.

The cuts were caused by blizzards swept in from the North Sea which also caused chaos on the roads.

Engineers from East Midlands Electricity (EME) hope to restore supplies by early on Friday evening.

Driving snow

Jonathan Smith, EME spokesman, said: "Overnight we have had something in the region of 30,000 customers without electricity.

"The problems that we have are as you would expect - blizzards, high winds and driving snow.

It is bitterly cold again this morning, there is a covering of snow

Norman Crow, villager
"Obviously people have had problems getting home in Lincolnshire and our engineers have had exactly the same difficulties getting out to where the problems are."

Norman Crow, a pensioner from Huttoft, said the electricity went off at 1100 GMT on Thursday.

"It is very very cold. It is bitterly cold again this morning, there is a covering of snow.

"There are hundreds more in the village who are just the same."

Roads blocked

The cold snap is set to continue through Friday with more snow predicted but turning to rain during the night.

Lincolnshire Police warned drivers to take care on the roads which remain disrupted by the snow.

A number of roads in the east of the county are blocked with snow or with lorries which have become stuck and vehicles which have been abandoned.

It should change to rain by Saturday morning and temperatures should have picked up a bit

Lukwesa Burak
Weather presenter
But most of the East Midlands has not been badly affected by the snow and gales which caused transport chaos across much of the country.

Motorways and smaller roads were gridlocked, dozens of flights were cancelled and much of the London Underground faced long delays.

In the East Midlands the cold spell is set to continue through Friday.

BBC East Midlands weather presenter Lukwesa Burak said: "It has been very wintry with a lot of snow across Lincolnshire with a little bit more to come."

She said it would brighten up later but more snow was likely on Friday night.

"But it should change to rain by Saturday morning and temperatures should have picked up a bit."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Catherine Marston
"Lily Alcock's been living in one room since the power went off"
The BBC's Fergus Walsh
"From Leicestershire to London a white blanket descended"
See also:

29 Jan 03 | UK
15 Jan 03 | Scotland
08 Jan 03 | England
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