Emergency services clear snow so vaccine centres can carry on

Members of the public braving the snow in North Walsham town centre. Picture: Danielle Booden

Several inches of snow has fallen across Norfolk and Waveney in the last 24 hours – and more is on the way. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Emergency service crews have been busy helping to make sure vaccination centres could open in the midst of heavy snow.

The large-scale centre in North Walsham was forced to close on Monday due to the weather conditions, but the other mass vaccination stations in Norfolk were able to continue operating.

And so were four smaller vaccine sites in Great Yarmouth and the surrounding areas, thanks to Norfolk Fire and Rescue staff who worked to clear access roads so they could continue to give out jabs.

Chief fire officer Stuart Ruff said: "We are seeing the impact of the severe bad weather across many parts of the county.

"Some of our crews have been out this morning, helping to clear access roads so that the four vaccination centres can open in the Great Yarmouth area.

"If you do need to make an essential journey, please be mindful of the conditions, especially if you’re driving.

"The difficult weather increases the risk to everyone and the likelihood that our crews will be required to assist.”

Monday was a very busy day for emergency services, with Norfolk Police attending a number of minor crashes while also helping out to clear blocked roads where they could.

Snow and ice has brought disruption to roads in Norwich and across Norfolk. 

Snow and ice has brought disruption to roads in Norwich and across Norfolk. - Credit: Simon Parkin

Affected routes included the A140 and A149 in north Norfolk, which were blocked off by snow drifts.

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Norfolk County Council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport Martin Wilby said: "It has been an extremely busy week for all the highways teams, who initially responded to reports of flooding, and more recently the high winds and snow conditions over the weekend.

"We’re working around the clock at the moment with ploughing teams and gritters, with support from farmers across the county, who have been helping to clear the network of snow since Sunday morning.”

Chair of the Norfolk Resilience Forum strategic coordination group Chief Insp Jason Selvarajah said: "We saw weather conditions worsen overnight, as expected, and our priority continues to be that of keeping people safe during what is already a challenging time.

"There will be people trying to get to key places of work, and to support the very vulnerable, and for every additional person out and about, the risk to them and those trying to help them increases.

"With more snow predicted over the coming days, our message remains the same – if you don’t have to make that essential journey just yet, don’t do it; and we thank our communities and those working to help them for their cooperation and patience so far.”

A Met Office weather warning for snow remains in place until Wednesday, with more powder expected to fall across the region.

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