Six days of winter weather in Penarth and district: Round-up
12:10pm Thursday 24th January 2013 in News
TEAM ALBERT: Local staff from Albert Primary were in school on Wednesday clearing the snow, so they could re-open safely on Thursday! They were Headteacher Huw Jones, Ceri Hawkins, Mark Holder, Kyle Boddy, Mary Lane, Mr and Mrs Dennison, and Ross Dennison
HEAVY snowfall hit Penarth and the surrounding area on Friday (January 18), sticking around over the weekend and lingering on into Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
As a blizzard swept across the area in the early hours of Friday, residents awoke to a blanket of thick snow, some inches deep in places.
Weather forecasters had warned about the treacherous conditions in the days before and advised people to only drive if absolutely necessary. The Vale Council worked throughout the nights gritting main roads, and snowploughs were out in force on Friday.
Public transport was affected by the wintry weather, with trains from Penarth station cancelled for a period of time on Friday. Buses continued to run, some with altered routes as drivers stuck to main roads that had been gritted by the Vale Council.
Schools were also affected, with all but two closed on Friday – Evenlode and Cogan Primaries remained open, and pupils enjoyed some wintry weather lessons! Meanwhile the many local youngsters who found themselves with a day at home made the most of the wintry conditions by sledging and building snowmen.
Local secondary schools opened for pupils sitting external examinations, but were otherwise closed for the day.
Stanwell pupils were back in class on Monday, as were all the local primary schools, but students attending St Cyres had another day off, and on Tuesday only Years 10, 11 and sixth form returned.
On Wednesday both senior schools were closed, and a number of primaries.
Vale leisure centres were closed on Friday, and weekend sport was hit, with all local football and rugby cancelled.
There were also delays to waste collections, as Friday’s conditions meant it was unsafe for staff to work on the pavements, but the council said on Tuesday that it had caught up with the backlog.
CARDIFF and Vale University Health Board cancelled a number of outpatient appointments on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday (January 22-23).
The decision was made on advice from the Welsh Ambulance Service and South Wales Police, due to the likely weather and road conditions. Appointments of patients relying on the Welsh Ambulance Service for transport were cancelled on Tuesday afternoon and patients contacted to reschedule.
Tuesday afternoon clinics remained open for those able to make their own way; however, the health board cancelled all outpatient appointments for Wednesday in light of the forecast.
Those with clinically important appointments were contacted by staff and arrangements made for them to be seen.
Paul Hollard, Deputy Chief Executive for the health board, said: "We will do our best to get appointments rescheduled as soon as possible."
999 WARNING HEEDED
THE Welsh Ambulance Service (WAS) thanked the public for following advice and only calling 999 when necessary.
The service was active throughout the poor conditions, with ambulance 4x4 vehicles operational in some areas.
Sue Jenkins, head of service delivery said: “Though very busy across Wales, the WAS has not seen the increase in volume of calls that we feared. We are grateful to the public who heeded our plea to only dial 999 for genuine emergencies.
“We are encouraging the public to continue to use our service wisely and only call 999 for life threatening and serious injuries and illness.
“We work closely with partners and agencies such as St John, Red Cross, Police and Fire Services, Mountain Rescue and the RAF to enable us to provide care safely and efficiently to patients at this time,” she added..
“There are a range of other health services that can be contacted for health advice and information including NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47 or at www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk ”