Page last updated at 21:35 GMT, Thursday, 7 January 2010

Hundreds of homes without power

Part of the A3M
Up to 100 abandoned cars remain at the roadside

Thousands of homes in Hampshire face another night without power as temperatures continue to plunge.

About 1,800 homes in Hampshire, West Sussex and Surrey are still without power after snow brought down electricity cables alongside the A3.

The worst affected areas are around Waterlooville and Petersfield in Hampshire.

Meanwhile work to retrieve more than 100 vehicles abandoned on the A3 after snowfalls on Tuesday night continues.

Temperatures could plummet to -20C (-4F) in parts of the south later, setting new local records.

Dennis Kirby, of Southern Electric, said teams would continue working to restore power to affected towns until 2200 GMT.

A total of 20,000 customers have been cut off - some since Tuesday - since the snow fell.

Five teams of police and Hampshire and Fire and Rescue officers are patrolling the Bordon and Petersfield area in 4x4 vehicles and visiting households
Hampshire Constabulary spokeswoman

Engineers are due to resume work on Friday morning.

The outage also affected a water pumping station causing problems with water supplies south west of Alton.

Mr Kirby said the firm had seen "some unprecedented conditions".

"The heavy snow laden in the trees has actually been bringing the trees [and] branches down on to the power lines and that has caused the main issues," he said.

Police said parent firm Scottish and Southern Power was drafting in extra engineers from Scotland to try to recover the supply.

A spokeswoman said: "Hampshire County Council is working with police and the power company to identify vulnerable people in those areas affected by the power outage, in order to provide assistance including helping them find alternative accommodation if that is required.

The snow-covered A3 in Hampshire
Owners of abandoned vehicles have been told to call police on 101

"This includes nursing homes and day centres and others who are not self-reliant.

"Five teams of police and Hampshire and Fire and Rescue officers are patrolling the Bordon and Petersfield area in 4x4 vehicles and visiting households to provide assistance and identify any problems."

Police have also organised a free recovery service for motorists who abandoned their cars on the A3 on Tuesday night, after snow ploughs pushed snow on to cars and iced up doors and locks.

Up to 1,000 drivers were stranded when snow fell on Tuesday.

Drivers had originally been advised to call police to arrange for cars to be collected under supervision.

School closures

Police said the recovery and storage fee would be paid for by the Highways Agency.

Drivers must collect their cars by 0900 GMT on Saturday otherwise a storage fee will be charged.

Drivers whose cars are on the A3 are advised to phone Hampshire Constabulary on 101.

Meanwhile hundreds of schools across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are due to remain closed on Friday.

The snow-covered A3 in Hampshire
Owners of abandoned vehicles have been told to call police on 101

All schools on the island and in Portsmouth were closed on Thursday.

About 500 homes in South Ropley, Monkwood, West Tisted, Newton Valence and Privet were experiencing reduced water pressure on Thursday afternoon.

South East Water is asking people to only use the water they need while supplies are diverted from other sources.

Council gritting teams are due to continue treating "key" transport routes and primary roads, police said.

More than 100 farmers have been helping clear the snow.

All elective surgery and non-urgent outpatient appointments due to take place on Friday at Portsmouth's Queen Alexandra Hospital remain cancelled.



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SEE ALSO
A3 reopened after traffic chaos
06 Jan 10 |  Hampshire
Drivers stranded as snow shuts A3
06 Jan 10 |  Hampshire
Hovercraft glides on snowy road
06 Jan 10 |  Hampshire
Snow info & school closures
21 Dec 10 |  People and Places
In Pictures: Hampshire & IoW snow
02 Dec 10 |  People and Places
Treacherous icy roads cause chaos
23 Dec 09 |  Hampshire

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