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East Lancs villagers on snow patrol
5:00pm Saturday 23rd March 2013 in News
COMMUNITY-spirited villagers free the main road to their homes as they dig through snowdrifts.
Vehicles were abandoned as walls of snow, up to four feet high in places, made the rural roads around Worsthorne impassable.
Heavy snow combined with strong winds early yesterday to leave around eight cars stuck in Extwistle Road.
Farmers drove their tractors out to clear a route and dozens of residents rallied to help free the vehicles.
Across East Lancashire, schools and roads were closed, and 999 crews were called to several accidents.
In Worsthorne, the vehicles were eventually freed by lunchtime and the conditions on the road had improved by 2pm.
Coun Andrew Newhouse, who lives in the rural area, said: “We were stuck in most of the day because our rural track was impassable.
“We had snowdrifts so being quite an open area it all gathered here. My road had around four foot of snow in some places so there was no chance anything could get through.
“It is good that everybody was helping each other out. It is important at times like these that there is a good community spirit.”
Another resident said: “When we woke up yesterday morning we couldn’t see out the window because of the snow being thrown around in the wind.
“Once one car got stuck, everything that followed was also getting stuck, and a local farmer and residents had to dig them out.”
He said people had no chance of getting through to Worsthorne.
Alison Leigh, landlady at the village’s Crooked Billet pub said: “Yesterday morning the village was pretty much cut off, the roads were all blocked by snow. We have two horses and I couldn’t get to them. With the snow being blown in the wind you couldn’t see your hand in front of you, never mind see to drive in it.”
Elsewhere, drifting snow, blizzard conditions and strong winds made some areas, like the Grane Road at Haslingden, impassable.
And in Foulridge, Skipton Old Road was shut due to snow at Long Lane and cars could also not get up Halifax Road, Burnley.
A driver ended up in a field near the railway bridge in Burnley Road, Cliviger, when their Vauxhall Astra came off the road.
There was some damage to a fence but the driver did not need medical care. County council bosses said gritters had been out in preparation for the cold snap and were prepared to plough and resalt roads when necessary.
A spokesman said: “They were ploughing and gritting as needed, mostly in the areas where there was drifting snow.”
So far this month, the county council has used 1,800 tonnes of grit and still has around 19,000 tonnes in reserve.
Among the schools to close were Sharneyford Primary, Bacup; Colne Christ Church CofE Primary; Colne Park Primary, Colne; Hendon Brook School, Nelson; Pendle View Primary, Colne; and Trawden Forest Primary.
A yellow warning for snow was in place until midnight last night.
A spokesman said: “As today progresses, it will tend to lighten up, but there will still be lots of wind around and a very high wind chill factor. On Sunday, as that moves away, it will dry up, but still remain quite cold and windy with some clear skies.”
No more snow is predicted for the start of next week.