Winchester back in business after snow and plummeting temperatures cause disruption

Winchester cathedral at the weekend.

Winchester cathedral at the weekend.

First published in News by

WINCHESTER District is getting back to normal after snow caused disruption throughout the weekend, forcing Hampshire’s Fire and Rescue Centre to close, as well as several schools.

At their headquarters in Eastleigh, emergency response control staff had to relocate when melting snow caused a power failure at around 7.30am on Sunday (January 20).

Quick-thinking workers set in motion their business continuity response plan, re-routing all emergency calls to the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Staff then moved to a control centre at Winchester’s Hampshire County Council building.

They were operating as normal within an hour, without disruption to the service's response capability.

A spokesman for the service said they did not know how long the arrangement would continue.

Meanwhile, Winnall Primary and Osborne School are staying closed today (January 21), with West Meon Church of England Primary and Test Valley School in Stockbridge also keeping their doors shut.

Swanmore College of Technology is closed to all but staff and Year 11 pupils who need to take a geography GCSE exam and Eastleigh’s Crestwood College for Business and Enterprise will be open from 10am after staff cleared snow from the site.

But Meonstoke Church of England School will remain shut because access to the site in Chapel Road is unsafe. It is expected to re-open on Tuesday (January 22).

Chandler's Ford Infant School on King’s Road King's Road opted to open later than usual, at 10am, in order to make the drive and pathways safe.

Kings Worthy Pre-School and Kings Worthy Primary School will be staggering their opening times from 10am to allow pupils to arrive safely and in time.

Throughout the county snow ploughs have been keeping roads clear and the council said more than 100 farmers were called to help clear rural roads over the weekend.

Since Thursday (January 17), 4000 tonnes of salt has been spread on Hampshire’s roads and the county council say their salt barns remain well stocked.

Wednesday and Thursday are expected to be dry, but very cold, with temperatures at night falling to -8C (18F) in the countryside and -4C (25F) in the city and a couple of degrees above freezing during the day.

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