Over 180 incidents reported in Essex

Essex Police dealt with more than 180 weather-related incidents as heavy snow fell on much of the county overnight. Between 10pm and 5am the calls included 20 to road collisions, 25 fallen power cables and 16 downed trees.

Essex Police dealt with more than 180 weather-related incidents as heavy snow fell on much of the county overnight.

Between 10pm and 5am the calls included 20 to road collisions, 25 fallen power cables and 16 downed trees.

Fortunately there were no reports of serious injuries at any of the incidents.

There were also 36 calls to youths causing a nuisance by throwing snowballs at passing vehicles or at properties and 29 calls about road affected by ice or snow.

Most of the other calls involved stranded vehicles.

During the worst of blizzard-like conditions in the north east of the county more than 70 lorries were stuck on the A120 leading out of Harwich.

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Vehicles were also trapped in snow or on icy roads at other major roads including the A12 Northern Bypass at Colchester and Three Mile Hill near Chelmsford.

A number of car and lorry drivers slept in their vehicles until gritters and snowploughs were able to reach them and open the roads.

Chief Inspector Jon Dodman, speaking from an emergency special operations centre at Essex Police headquarters, said: “With further snow forecast over the next few days I would advise people to only make journeys if they are absolutely necessary.

“If you have to drive leave plenty of time for your journey, drive slowly and leave a large distance between you and the vehicle in front.

“It is advisable to make sure you have a mobile phone, a shovel, a blanket and a flask of hot drink with you just in case you do get stuck.”

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