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Summary

  1. Updates from Monday 26 February until Friday 2 March 2018

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Use our tracker to check whether your local services are meeting strict waiting-time targets for cancer, routine operations and A&E.

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Phil Dollman runs in for a try

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Champions Exeter grind out a vital win over a spirited but depleted Saracens in the top-of-the-table Premiership clash.

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Police open major crash road

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

The A38 at Haldon Hill in Devon has been reopened by police.

The road - which runs between Plymouth and Exeter - was closed following a crash involving several vehicles at about 16:30.

It is not clear if anyone was injured in the crash.

Drivers were also stuck on the same section of the road on Thursday evening.

Haldon Hill
Sgt Harry Tangye
Storm Emma: My 10-mile walk to work
A junior doctor talks about his journey to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in the snow.

A long slog through the snow for this Devon doctor

Sarah Gosling

BBC News Online

Some people might find work to be a long hard slog, but with Storm Emma this week it's been that just to get to the building for this doctor.

We've been hearing a lot of stories of difficult commutes to work, but Dr Steve Harris of Beacon Medical Group's journey has to be one of the toughest.

Rather than cave into the elements and let his patients down, he trudged for almost four miles from Cornwood to make it to the group's Ivybridge practice on time.

Doctor in snow
BBC

Urgent appeal for weekend nurses

Rob England

BBC News Online

Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust has appealed to nurses and other clinical staff to work over the weekend at its Wonford site.

The trust said extra staff were needed to "boost numbers" allowing them to provide safe care to urgent and emergency patients.

Staff unable to get to work are asked to contact the hospital, as well as those from "neighbouring hospitals" who live close by, to help out.

"Our greatest need at this time is for registered nurses," a spokesman said.

“We are also looking for other volunteer staff to come in this weekend and help run our severe weather accommodation and transport hubs.

"If any other 4x4 drivers can help this weekend please contact the Exeter Transport Hub on 01392 403913 as soon as possible."

Michael McIntyre shows in Plymouth postponed

This weekend's planned Michael McIntyre's shows at Plymouth Pavilions have all been postponed due to the severe weather.

Thursday night's show was also postponed to 15 May.

View more on twitter

Police search for cars in massive drifts

Police have been out searching through massive snowdrifts on a main road in Devon.

Officers used poles to try and find any stranded vehicles on the A386 at Sourton Cross near Okehampton on the edge of Dartmoor.

Police said they were satisfied nobody had been stuck in any of the cars discovered.

View more on twitter

Flood alerts increase to flood warnings

Rob England

BBC News Online

Fire crew swaps hoses for shovels to clear snow

At Tiverton Hospital fire crews have attacked the snow to clear a path.

Tiverton clearup
APEX
Tiverton clearup
APEX

Crash closes A38 westbound

Twitter

Death of girl, 7 in ice crash 'reverberates around town'

John Danks

BBC Spotlight

The death of a seven-year-old girl in Looe, east Cornwall has "reverberated around" the town.

The girl, who has not been named, was playing in the snow when a car crashed into a house in Bodrigan Road in treacherous conditions, hitting the child as well.

The car was removed from the scene on Friday. Investigations into the incident are ongoing.

Armand Toms, Mayor of Looe, said: "This has reverberated around the community and it's actually brought the community together because they are going to support the family.

"The family are well known. Everybody I've spoken to today is absolutely gutted that this has happened and the offers of help have poured in."

Car being removed in Looe
BBC

From the snow to the sea

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

Tiffany Coates, an adventure motorcylist from west Cornwall, swapped her bike for a snowboard.

You can see her riding from the sand dunes covered in snow at Porthcurno to the sea front.

A38 ice crash: What we know so far

Rob England

BBC News Online

About eight to 10 vehicles have been involved in an accident on the A38 south bound at Haldon Hill, with no injuries.

Initial reports suggested about 40 vehicles were in the collision, but it is now understood this is the number of vehicles needing to be cleared because of the crash.

The south bound section of the road is currently closed.

Highways England said another, minor, collision had happened on the road heading northbound, closing one lane.

A spokesman said the incident is believed to be relating to black ice on the road, and it was "difficult to say how long" the road would be affected.

Last night drivers on the same section of road were stuck for hours in icy conditions.

Drivers have been advised to avoid the route.

Flood damage in Helford

BBC Radio Cornwall

There has been flooding in west Cornwall because of melting snow and this morning's high tides.

Branches, rubble and other debris blocked roads and pathways.

The scene has been described as "utter devastation" by residents as the cleanup operation continues.

The footbridge at the top of the village in Helford has completely washed away.

Helford flood damage

Storm grill flooded in Porthallow

Rob England

BBC News Online

Melting snow and high tides have flooded the storm grill at Porthallow.

A Cormac spokesman said council teams were working with the Environment Agency and local residents to clear the grill.

grill
CORMAC

BreakingAbout 40 vehicles in ice crash

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

About 40 vehicles have been involved in a 'pile up' on the A38 at Haldon Hill according to police.

Cars have skidded and become stranded due to black ice.

The westbound carriageway has been closed from the A379 onwards.

On Thursday hundreds of motorists were stranded for hours on the same stretch of road.

A38 closed
Devon and Cornwall Police
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Care workers attending clients 'on foot'

Rob England

BBC News Online

Carers from an agency in Devon have been attending clients on foot or by 4x4 where roads are impassable.

Bay Care - which provides end of life and home care to 250 clients across Torbay, south and west Devon - says it is prioritising those deemed to be "high risk".

Katrina Green, director of Bay Care, said local volunteers transporting staff with 4x4 vehicles had been "incredible".

She added staff had also been making journeys on foot.

"We had a member of the care team walk three hours yesterday for a single visit to a lady at high risk, and we’ve care workers today on foot, while roads are still impassable," Ms Green said. “Today, I’m expecting three hours of care contact with the client to take about 10 hours of care worker’s time," she added.

The agency, along with Unicare Devon, is appealing for further 4x4 volunteers to come forward in the Torbay, south or west Devon area.

Crash causes major traffic problems on A38

'Multiple vehicle accident' on Haldon Hill

Twitter

Gritter overturned on the A379

John Ayres

BBC Spotlight

A gritter with a snow plough has been found overturned on the A379 between Shaldon and Torquay.

Gritter
BBC
Gritter
BBC
Gritter
BBC

A doctor's commute... on a tractor?

Tractor
BBC

One Devon doctor has really adapted his commute to match his surroundings - by riding George the tractor seven miles to the snowbound surgery.

Dr David Gwynne of the Beacon Medical Group saw the snow and rather than be defeated by the elements, decided to raise the bar - the roll-bar of his small-holding's tractor that is.

"I looked out at the ice today and just thought, there's no way I'm leaving the house in the car.

"We've got to help people and get to see our patients. At the end of the day, we can’t just leave them to it."

Tractor-driving doctor faces the snow in order to offer help from his surgery

Although contingency plans were always in place to continue caring for people during the storm, no one had quite expected this creative dedication to get into the office.

Dr Udeka Senaratne-Niland, also from the Ivybridge practice, said: "We knew that the blizzard was coming and joked that he might need the tractor to come in. We never expected him to actually do it!"

"A lot of our doctors live rurally and have worked their damnedest to get in today."

Do you know any more unsung snow day heroes? If so, email us.

'Critical level of demand' for ambulance service

Rob England

BBC News Online

"Unless it is a genuine life threatening emergency" the public have been urged by South West Ambulance Service (SWAS) not to dial 999.

A spokeswoman said there was a "critical level of demand" for the service due to the weather, and warned less urgent patients should expect a "significant wait" for an ambulance.

View more on twitter

SWAS defines "life threatening emergency" as incidents such as:

  • Cardiac arrests
  • Strokes
  • Serious bleeding that cannot be stopped
  • A severe allergic reaction
  • Serious breathing difficulties
  • Loss of consciousness

Severe accident: A38 Devon westbound

BBC News Travel

A38 Devon westbound severe accident, between A380 and B3344.

A38 Devon - A38 in Kennford closed and queuing traffic westbound between Splatford Split and Harcombe Cross, because of a multi-vehicle accident and recovery work. Diversion in operation - traffic is being diverted onto the A380 Telegraph Hill.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Skiing - in Cornwall?

Julie Skentelbery

BBC Radio Cornwall

Fully embracing the wintry weather, Alex Butters from Polperro decided to ski into the village today.

The journey was filmed from a quad bike, which was later used to pull him back up the hill.

Whilst this may not be out of place in Canada, or perhaps Finland, it is a bit of an unusual sight in Cornwall.

The wintry weather has provided the opportunity for activities rarely seen in Cornwall.

Officers use poles to search for vehicles on A386

Rob England

BBC News Online

Officers have been lent poles to search for vehicles buried in the snow on the A386 in Devon.

Supt Toby Davies said the force was working with partners attending "collisions and stranded vehicles".

A386
Supt Toby Davies
A386
Supt Toby Davies
A386
Supt Toby Davies

Ottery

Mark struggles to adjust to the laid-back way of living in Ottery.

Crashing waves at Shoalstone Pool

Emma Thomasson

BBC Spotlight

Tony Clarke caught this dramatic scene at Shoalstone Pool in Brixham.

Shoalstone Pool at Brixham

Stranded drivers should 'reflect on that journey'

Rob England

BBC News Online

A senior police officer has asked drivers who found themselves stranded yesterday on roads across Devon and Cornwall to "reflect" on that journey, and the "impact" it had on emergency services.

A30
Devon and Cornwall Police
Hundreds of drivers were stuck on the A30 at Okehampton last night

Ch Insp Adrian Leisk, head of roads policing across Devon, Cornwall and Dorset said emergency services and volunteers "risked their safety" in coming to drivers rescue, and asked them to think again about whether to travel - to avoid a repeat situation.

He said: "We have also been made aware of road users using their mobiles behind the wheel in these treacherous conditions.

"If drivers are identified using a mobile device whilst driving in these terrible conditions, they risk prosecution for dangerous driving, which carries a prison sentence.

“This stupid and selfish action places other motorists’ lives at risk and is completely unacceptable.”

Ch Insp Leisk advised road users only to travel if they "absolutely had to" in order to provide "lifesaving support" to others.

In this event, he said, drivers should prepare to be in their vehicle "for several hours". He said: "We are not over the worst of the weather for some time yet."

Residents start to clear shingle thrown up by the sea

Anna Varle

BBC News Online

Torcross
BBC

Diggers and residents are working to clear the mass of shingle which has cut off the road at Torcross.

Earlier the council said parts of the road has been "washed away".

A number of properties have been flooded and there are unconfirmed reports of a mine further up the beach.

Torcross
BBC

Flood warnings and alerts for Devon and Cornwall

Rob England

BBC News Online

Public urged to avoid the seafront at Falmouth

Twitter

WW2 lookout falls into sea at Torcross

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

An old World War Two lookout at Torcross has fallen into the sea, Kingsbridge Police have said.

It added the cliff path is now "very unsafe" and is advising people to stay away.

lookout
KINGSBRIDGE POLICE
lookout
KINGSBRIDGE POLICE

Police renew calls not to travel across Dartmoor

Rob England

BBC News Online

Police have urged the public not to attempt to drive across Dartmoor, unless in an emergency.

Officers said: "We are aware that drivers are attempting to drive on to Dartmoor looking for snow. Please do not drive on to Dartmoor. The roads are extremely dangerous, with many remaining untreated with ice and snow drifts."

A spokesman added the potential for vehicle accidents was "high".

View more on twitter

Exeter Chiefs groundsmen clearing snow ahead of weekend

Twitter

The groundsmen at Exeter Chiefs are working hard to clear the snow from the ground ahead of this weekend's game.

The Chiefs face Saracens at Sandy Park on Sunday.

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Storm Emma batters Devon and Cornwall

BBC Weather Watchers

Sidmouth
Scamp191
Sidmouth
Northleigh
Kayelle
Northleigh
Newquay
Sarah
Newquay

Community 'devastated' by the death of Looe schoolgirl, 7

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

The local community has been "devastated" by the death of a seven-year-old girl who died in a car crash in Looe, the town mayor has said.

Devon and Cornwall Police are investigating the crash that happened in Bodrigan Road on Thursday.

Councillor Armand Toms said the "well-known family" is getting lots of support.

"It's reverberated around the community and actually it's brought the community together because they're going to support the family. Everybody that I've spoken to today is absolutely gutted that this has happened. The offers of help have poured in."

A386 'still closed'

Rob England

BBC News Online

The A386 at Sourton Cross is still "closed with vehicles" after hundreds of drivers were stuck on the A30 late last night, according to Devon County Council.

View more on twitter

Power cuts across Devon

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

There are several power cuts across Devon this afternoon.

Western Power Distribution said it is working to restore supplies.

Areas affected include:

  • EX14 area of Honiton - aimed to be restored by 20:00
  • TQ10 postcode area in South Brent - aimed to be restored by 16:00
  • PL21 Ivybridge area - aimed to be restored by 18:00