Wales

Storm Emma: Drivers warned of ice after heavy snowfall

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Media captionBBC Wales weather forecaster Derek Brockway attempts to make a snow angel

Drivers have been warned of difficult conditions, with a yellow weather warning in place for ice across Wales.

The Met Office "be aware" alert runs until 11:00 GMT Sunday.

It follows heavy snow on Friday which left thousands of homes without power, public transport at a standstill and 1,100 schools shut.

The sporting calendar on Saturday was also hit with some major rugby and football matches cancelled.

Image copyright Arwyn Evans
Image caption Wales has been locked in a big freeze this week, much like this gate in Llyn Peris, Gwynedd
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Media captionNow he's dried off, here is Derek with the forecast

Several hundred homes were left without power throughout Saturday but all were due to be restored by the evening.

Welsh Water said it has received more than 8,000 calls since Thursday morning - five times more than normal volume of inquiries - as customers seek advice on how to stop pipes freezing.

It added thawing snow and ice could cause ground movement which could damage pipes.

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Media caption'Water was pouring down the centre light'

There are also a small number of flood alerts in place across Wales as the snow melts including in Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Cardiff, Newport and Flintshire.

Several major routes through Wales were closed throughout the day, but most have now reopened.

The Bwlch and Rhigos mountain roads in Rhondda Cynon Taff, the Caerphilly mountain road, the A469, the A44 at Llangurig in Powys and the A48 at Carmarthen are still closed.

Rhondda Cynon Taf council said on Twitter it had stopped attempting to clear snow after snowballs broke the windscreen of the gritter.

In Powys, Newtown's firefighters delivered food parcels to people who had been unable to leave their homes in surrounding villages.

Image copyright Twitter @DAFXF480
Image caption A digger was sent to clear a huge snow drift in Llanfihangel, Powys
Image copyright Michael Hobbs
Image caption The cold weather has inspired several artists. Michael Hobbs made this sculpture in Abertridwr

Buses, trains, planes

Bus services have been limited on Saturday, with Stagecoach running a handful of services.

A Cardiff council spokesman said all main routes in the city should be cleared of snow on Saturday and smaller, residential areas by Sunday.

The authority revealed it has used 450 tonnes of grit on the city's roads over the last three days - almost a quarter of the salt normally used over the whole winter period.

Image copyright South Wales Police
Image caption This lorry jackknifed at junction 34 of the M4

Arriva Train Wales said a number of its routes were re-opening, but with "a significantly limited service".

But passengers are still being advised only to travel is necessary and to check with the train operator first.

Cardiff Airport re-opened, but several arrivals and departures on Saturday were delayed or cancelled.

In north Wales, a clean-up operation is under way after strong winds damaged or sank 80 boats at Holyhead, Anglesey.

Marine pollution experts have been drafted in to assist, over concerns about fuel tanks leaking from boats, said the coastguard.

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Media captionUp to 80 vessels were ripped from moorings at Holyhead Marina during Storm Emma

A meeting was held on Saturday evening to discuss strategy for the clean-up process.

Geoff Garrod, director of Holyhead Marina Ltd, said the group was "shell-shocked" by the damage but "more than capable of dealing with it, with time and far kinder weather".

There is no risk to people but marine life and shipping could be in danger if the wind changes direction.

Some of the sporting calendar for Saturday was frozen out.

Pro14 matches for Ospreys, Cardiff Blues and Scarlets, football involving Cardiff City, Newport County and Wrexham, and Cardiff Devils' ice hockey match were all postponed.

The Devils have asked for volunteers to help clear the snow ahead of Sunday's Challenge Cup final against Belfast Giants.

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