Page last updated at 20:39 GMT, Monday, 2 February 2009

Heavy snowfall brings disruption

Gritting lorry

The first heavy snowfall of winter has disrupted road travel across Wales and led to more than 150 schools closing their doors.

Disruption was reported in Powys on the A470 at Llanidloes, and the A44 at Llangurig, and on the A465 Heads of Valleys road at Dowlais Top.

Drivers on the M4 between junctions 38-49 also faced heavy snow.

Elsewhere, two men were winched to safety on Snowdon, hours after the bodies of two other men were found.

Forecasters say an icy blast from Russia was expected to bring Wales some of the snowfall which has already brought transport chaos to parts of England.

North and south western areas had the first of the snow but it was later reported to be heavy around Builth Wells, Powys.

Accidents were reported in the Builth Wells, Llandrindod Wells and Rhayader areas after several inches of snow fell on parts of the A483 and the A470 within a few hours.

Lorry driving in snow
The snowfall led to a number of accidents on roads in Powys

The A489 near Newtown was closed for several hours after being blocked by a lorry which broke down between Kerry and Sarn.

Traffic Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government's traffic and travel information service, has advised motorists to leave plenty of time for journeys and to listen to radio traffic reports to get an idea of road conditions and any incidents.

A statement said: "Remember that icy roads can increase stopping distances by 85%, so keep your distance from the vehicle ahead of you and avoid sudden movements.

"Consider taking a winter pack on your journeys.

"We suggest a mobile phone to use in emergencies (making sure it is safe and legal to do so), warm clothes, some food and drink and even a shovel if heavy snow has been forecast."

As the snowfall began to pick up, RAF Valley on Anglesey said its rescue helicopter had picked up two men in their 20s who had become stuck on Crib Goch, a ridge leading to the summit of Snowdon, on Monday afternoon.

People sledging at the Horseshoe Pass, near Llangollen
People sledging at the Horseshoe Pass, near Llangollen

They pair, who were uninjured, were flown by the crew to Nant Peris.

The alert came after the Llanberis mountain rescue team found the bodies of two men at Clogwyn Coch, not far from the summit of Snowdon.

The men, believed to be brothers from the south west of England area, were declared missing on Sunday night.

Meanwhile, the Welsh Ambulance Service issued advice that emergency ambulances be called only if "absolutely necessary".

The snowfall led to 155 schools shutting across Wales on Monday, with some already reporting they will close or stay closed on Tuesday.


Both games involving Wales' Football League clubs on Tuesday in London have also been postponed because of the weather.

Cardiff City's FA Cup fourth-round replay against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium is off, as is Swansea City's game against QPR at Loftus Road.

The Arsenal-Cardiff game will be played instead on Monday, 16 February (1945 GMT).

Met Office forecaster Derek Brockway warned light winds and temperatures close to freezing on Monday night could bring the risk of ice.

He said: "Further outbreaks of sleet and snow will spread across Wales, with some heavy snow in places too, especially but not exclusively on some of the higher ground with drifting.

"Amounts of snow will vary from place to place. It's difficult to say exactly where will be worst hit."

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Below is a selection of some of the comments we have also received:

Plenty of snow up here!
Jono, Blaengwynfi Port Talbot

Snow here in Carmarthen! light at first but then turned heavy! on and off at the moment! white here after snowing all morning! more snow to come I hope!
James Evans, Carmarthen

Woke up to a light dusting of snow this morning, hope to see some more later!
Rory, Aberystwyth

It's snowing here and all the other schools are off except us.. soo unfair!
Stacy, Abertillery, Gwent

OMG it is so cold. i cant even feel my hands but the good thing is that i think we are going to get sent home from school. Our snow showers are heavy at times but are also light.
Rebecca Miller, Neath

Down here in South West Wales there are on and off snow showers both light and heavy, no schools in the West Glamorgan area no schools as of yet there are no word on school closures but one thing is for sure WE ARE COLD!!!
Sarah Sims, Neath, Wales

No Snow here yet, whyyyyyy!!!!
, Cardiff

There is no snow and evreyone else is off school...its sooooo unfair!
Chels., Newport

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Snow: School closures
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