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Winter Storm Hunter Prompts State of Emergency; Large Pileup Closes Interstate 40 in Western Tennessee, USA

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ICED IN 13,000 tourists trapped amid avalanche warnings in Swiss ski resort after heavy snowfall blocks all routes

 Some 13,000 tourists have been stranded in the town
Photo By AFP – Some 13,000 tourists have been stranded in the town
HEAVY snowfall has trapped some 13,000 tourists at Zermatt, one of Switzerland’s most popular ski stations, the Alpine resort said today.
 
The snow has blocked all roads and the train leading to the resort in the southern Swiss canton of Valais, which was also hit by some power outages, head of the station Janine Imesch told AFP.
 
There are currently “around 13,000 tourists at Zermatt,” she said, while the station website warned that “arrivals and departures are not possible at the moment.”
 
The main access road has been closed since early Monday, while the train was halted Monday evening, she said.
 
Zermatt is home to some 5,500 inhabitants and has the capacity to accommodate 13,400 tourists spread across hotels and rental apartments.
 
But the stranded tourists will not be able to take advantage of the abundant snow for the time being, due to the high risk of avalanches in the area.
 
“It is not possible to do downhill or cross country, but that’s ok. It’s a bit romantic,” Imesch said, adding “there is no panic.”
 
A reconnaissance flight is planned over the area to help determine the situation and how to proceed.
 Workers remove snow beside the Zermatt train station after heavy snowfall
Photo By AFP – Workers remove snow beside the Zermatt train station after heavy snowfall
 The snow has made some roads impassable
Photo By AFP – The snow has made some roads impassable
A number of other Valais villages were also isolated by the heavy precipitation.
 
The Simplon region of Valais was hit by two metres of snow in a 24-hour period, the ATS news agency reported.
 
Mud and rockslides, as well as flooding, have forced the closure of a number of roads across Valais, as has the risk of avalanches, which regional police have said is currently at the highest possible level.
 
At lower altitudes, heavy rains have meanwhile forced the evacuation of around 20 people from the tiny village of Eyholz, and the hamlet of Mottec was also emptied as a precaution, the RTS broadcaster reported.
 Stranded tourists will not be able to take advantage of the abundant snow for the time being, due to the high risk of avalanches in the area
Photo By AFP – Stranded tourists will not be able to take advantage of the abundant snow for the time being, due to the high risk of avalanches in the area
Beyond Valais, the first men’s World Cup downhill training run in Wengen, in the canton of Bern, was cancelled Tuesday due to snow and high winds, organisers said.
 
Overnight winds of up to 200 kilometres per hour (125 miles per hour) also meant there was significant damage to infrastructure on the course, notably at the finish area where tents and the stands were hit.
 
The piste itself was unaffected.
Courtesy of thesun.co.uk

***UK/IRELAND STORM ELEANOR ALERT UPDATE***

Storm Alert

From 23:00 hrs, QE2 Bridge, Dartford Crossing, A282 will be closed for safety reasons

***BE ALERT AND SAFE***

Severe Thunderstorm Causes Flooding In Plymouth, UK

Severe Thunderstorm Warning Alert
Parts of Plymouth are flooded this morning after a huge thunderstorm woke the city -and the fire service has asked the council to clear out drains
 
Parts of Stuart Road are completely submerged, with water stretching across the width of the road, from pavement.
 
Benjamin Barton sent in the above video of the scene in Stuart Road he was confronted with, as he made his way home from work in Plymstock.
 
And a basement flat in Plymouth was flooded during this morning’s thunderstorm.
 
At 6.17am, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service received a call reporting flooding at a property in Lisson Grove, Mutley.
 
Fire Control immediately mobilised one fire appliance from Greenbank to attend this incident.
 
On arrival the officer in charge confirmed one basement flat was flooded due to external weather conditions and blocked drains. Crews made steady progress using small tools.
 
The officer in charge requested Plymouth City Council to attend to clear out drains.
Courtesy of plymouthherald.co.uk

M1 shut and 24,000 without power as snow hits UK

Stationary traffic on the A14 in Northamptonshire westbound between Junction 2-3. Pic: Sean Byrne
Stationary traffic on the A14 in Northamptonshire westbound between Junction 2-3. Pic: Sean Byrne
An accident in treacherous conditions has closed the M1 and 24,000 homes are without power after overnight snowstorms hit the UK.
 
A lorry crash has closed all three lanes of the M1 southbound prior to junction 19, with Leicestershire Police telling Sky News it was likely caused by the wintry conditions.
 
There are tailbacks stretching several miles with people trying to return to work or from Christmas breaks.
 
Police tweeted: “There has been an accident involving a lorry. Unfortunately, all lanes are currently blocked. Police and Highways are aware and are currently dealing. Please make alternative travel arrangements. Updates to follow.”
 
A lorry has also jack-knifed on the M5 at junction 11a.
Police attend an accident on the M1. Pic: Northants RAPT
Police attend an accident on the M1. Pic: Northants RAPT
The A46 was closed in both directions between the A435 and A422 near Alcester. There are reports an HGV left the carriageway amid difficult driving conditions before the road was reopened.
 
There is disruption on the A14 westbound in Suffolk between junctions 47 Elmswell and 45 due to flooding.
 
Motorists across the country are being warned to take extra care as snow settles in parts.
 
Up to 7cm of snow was recorded to have fallen over Exmoor, South Wales and the Cotswolds overnight.
 
Strong winds have been recorded in parts of the south west, with gusts of up to 50mph across Cornwall.
 
Meanwhile, Western Power Distribution confirmed 13,899 homes were without electricity across southwestern and central parts of the country.
 
SSE also has around 10,000 customers without power.
Western Power Distribution says 14,000 homes are without electricity
Western Power Distribution says 15,000 homes are without electricity
The Environment Agency has also issued 14 flood warnings and 96 flood alerts, mainly in the South West and central England.
 
Passengers at Birmingham Airport have been warned the snow is likely to impact flights.
Courtesy of Sky News