#1 Global Warming Alert:Snow Halts Travel in UK, France
02-02-2009, 04:07 PM
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- Jan 2009
- Central Florida
Snow freezes travel in western Europe
AFP - Snow storms brought travel chaos to western Europe on Monday closing London-Heathrow airport after one jet slid off a taxiway and at least five people were killed in storm incidents.
Two climbers died on Mount Snowdown in Wales and three people were killed in accidents and from the cold in Italy.
London lay under 10 centimetres (four inches) of snow, the most recorded in the British capital in 18 years. The storms also hit France and Spain, closing roads and rail tracks, and spread as far south as Morocco.
A Cyprus Airways plane with 104 passengers came off the icy taxiway at Heathrow, the world's busiest international airport.
"The plane had safely landed and was making its way to the stand and the front wheel went on to the grass area," a spokeswoman for airport operator BAA said. No injuries were reported.
Both runways were closed, however, and Heathrow halted all flights until at least 5:00 pm (1700 GMT).
British Airways called off all short-haul flights for Monday. A number of other British airports were closed or had cancellations and severe delays.
Eurostar advised passengers against travelling between London and Paris on high-speed trains because of snow delays.
British regional trains were badly hit and London underground and bus services came to a near standstill.
Thousands of schools closed around the country and an army of snow ploughs and gritters worked to clear roads.
The British Highways Agency advised against all but essential travel but there was still a 54 mile (87 kilometre) tailback (traffic jam) on the M25 orbital road north of London, reports said.
"It's absolute madness going in to work, but at least I can say I tried," said Bree McWilliam, an Australian policy analyst who experienced her first ever snowfall as she struggled into work.
Continued at France24 (including video)...
More snow sweeping across Britain
LONDON —Britain is bracing itself for further disruption as fresh bands of snow sweep across the country.
South-east England has been hit by the heaviest snow in 18 years, causing trains and buses to be cancelled, and airports and schools to be closed.
Parts of London may see a foot (30cm) of snow, while the Pennines and parts of the north may see 20 inches (50cm).
The Met Office has issued an extreme weather warning for England, Wales and parts of eastern Scotland.
Earlier at a press conference in Downing Street, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: "We are doing everything in our power to ensure services, road, rail and airports are open as quickly as possible, and we are continuing to monitor this throughout the day."
BBC weather forecaster Tomasz Schafernaker said the worst-affected area had been the Thames Valley and Greater London where the transport network is at its most concentrated.
He said some parts of London had already seen up to eight inches (20 cm) of snow.
Further snowfall in northern England and the Pennines could be made worse by strong winds which will cause snow to drift, he added.
Continued at the BBC...
Last edited by AHeneen; 02-02-2009 at 04:37 PM."Because we're a great nation, our challenges seem complex; it will always be this way. But as long as we remember our first principals and believe in ourselves, the future will always be ours." -Reagan
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