With freezing temperatures and further heavy snow and blizzards forecast for this evening, work is continuing across County Durham to keep services running
Gritter crews have been working throughout the day and, following a break in the snow, have managed to clear many priority one routes.
The authority has good salt stocks and with further deliveries due to take place, crews will continue to plough and treat these routes through the evening and into tomorrow morning. However, drivers are once again being advised only to travel if necessary.
The A68 between Tow Law and Castleside has now reopened after a gritter which had slid off the road was successfully removed. However, the following roads remain closed:
- The B6277 at Harwood
- The B6276 at Lunedale
- The C27 between St Johns Chapel and Langdon Beck
- The B6278 between Stanhope and Eggleston
- The B6278 between Stanhope and Castleside
The heavy snowfall has made it particularly difficult for refuse and recycling crews to carry out collections and there has been significant disruption to services. Anyone whose bin has not been collected is asked to leave it out so that it can be emptied over the coming days.
The council is working with care agencies across the county to ensure people who receive care at home continue to do so, with essential visits being prioritised. Anyone with any concerns should contact Social Care Direct on 03000 267 979.
Members of the public are being encouraged to check on friends, neighbours or relatives who may need assistance, with everyone, but particularly those who are older or vulnerable reminded of the importance of staying warm and well in the cold weather.
Amanda Healy, the council’s Director of Public Health, said: “When the temperature drops, people are at increased risk of a wide range of conditions including flu, pneumonia and hypothermia, with young children, older people and those who are disabled or have a long-term condition most at risk.
“It is, therefore, extremely important that people take extra care of themselves during the type of weather we are currently experiencing.
“We would advise people to ensure their home is warm, they have at least one hot meal a day and regular hot drinks and keep active. If possible, it is always best to stay at home during very cold weather.
“We would also ask people to check on neighbours and relatives to make sure they are safe and well, are warm enough and have plenty of food and any medications.”
With the majority of schools closed today, parents are advised to check the council’s website and Facebook and Twitter sites for updates tomorrow and as the week progresses.
Telephone contact centres have been operating as normal and Customer Access Points have been open, with anyone visiting having been seen by a member of staff.
As the cold weather continues, anyone intending to access council services, including Customer Access Point, leisure centres and libraries over the coming days is advised to telephone in advance to ensure services are operating.