Drivers are being urged to stay off the roads today due to hazardous conditions caused by storm Emma.
There has been widespread severe disruption caused by snow across the country and the emergency services have declared the situation a ‘major incident’.
What Is A Major Incident?
“An event or situation, with a range of serious consequences, which requires special arrangements to be implemented by one or more emergency responder agencies”.
The declaration of a Major Incident was announced late on Thursday, March 1, as police urged drivers to stay off the roads for “all but essential travel” on Friday, March 2.
Chief Superintendent Ian Wylie said:
“A multi-agency response is now under way. We have well-rehearsed plans to deal with severe weather events and will do everything we can to keep people safe.
“We’ve experienced extreme weather conditions over the past few hours and there are continuing red and amber Met Office weather warnings which will pose further challenges ahead.
“We expect the disruptive snowfall and icy conditions to continue overnight and we’re urging people to cancel their travel plans tomorrow morning and stay off the roads for all but essential travel.
“At the moment, we’re co-ordinating a rescue operation to help people stranded in their vehicles in multiple locations across Somerset, including around 100 vehicles stuck in snow on the A303 at Ilminster.
“This operation is being supported by a number of volunteers and voluntary agencies, including Avon and Somerset Search and Rescue, Exmoor Search and Rescue, Burnham Area Rescue Boat (which has 4×4 vehicles) and Wessex 4×4 Response, along with other emergency services and Her Majesty’s Coastguard.
“If you are stranded, please stay in your vehicle, call for assistance and wait for help to arrive. Don’t abandon your vehicle as it can hamper the efforts of emergency services.”
The message is clear, stay home and make the most of the snow day. Only drive if it is absolutely necessary.