SNOW STORM EMMA News Report by David Malins, DJFMITV for WCBF News
This video was posted last weekend, showing and describing the effects of Snow Storm Emma and the subsequent ‘Red weather warning’ from the Met Office. Whilst it doesn’t show the panic of people buying bread off shelves – it does however describe the unusual situations surrounding the unusual weather we’ve had at what is supposed to be the beginning of spring and what should have been a fairly uneventful St David’s Day in South Wales.
Cardiff was at a standstill, with even a taxi-driver mentioning to me that last weekend most of the major arteries had been blocked high – with snow drifts covering cars in the Vale of Glamorgan – highly unusual for the time of year, especially in the capital
Now that you’re at home with your cup of tea, DJFMITV & WCBF News, takes you on a Valleys look in one part of the Rhondda, at the wild weekend that was Snow Storm Emma…….
“A number of years ago, we covered snowy weather, but never have we witnessed such tremendous conditions.
On Thursday 1st March, after the initial stages of Snow Storm ‘Emma’ and many schools & colleges having been closed as a precautionary measure, the Met Office issued in the afternoon a Red Weather Warning – within hours of the warning, much of the major public transport infrastructure of South Wales had been or was in the process of being halted from 3:30pm onwards.
In the valleys especially today, Buses halted, with Stagecoach South Wales and New Adventure Travel, issuing statements that they would not be operating services until further notice. Evans Coaches also issued a similar statement, although apparently timed conveniently with work they were going to carry out on an extended weekend for them at their depot.
Arriva Trains Wales services in this region were also brought to a halt – after line safety checks could not be completed and more warnings on the way – leaving scenes like this one at Ystrad Rhondda station, with rails unused, jumbled information displays and snow uncleared, as more is expected in the nearly blizzard-like conditions.
Even some shops were closed indefinitely with their shutters down along the main roads, where occasionally experienced motorists and 4×4 response contingents called in to make house calls to the most vulnerable.
In scenes not seen in many decades, leisure facilities had been closed and a park, whilst braved by dog walkers and wannabe sleders – was nearly empty, with native birds and animals foraged for food, unperturbed by the arctic-like conditions.
It wasn’t just local services in the valleys that were affected – Local Radio stations were also severely affected. Rhondda Radio who is due to take to FM later this year after being awarded an Ofcom licence, failed to broadcast online as usual: whilst it’s sister station GTFM, announced live on air their difficulties in maintaining a skeleton crew, to provide essential information, entertainment and contact from their studios in Rhydfelin (Play clip).
Even in the Welsh Capital, Cardiff Bus suspended it services due to the severity of the conditions, as well as Great Western Railway stating that it planned to run a minimised service between Cardiff and London for those who were caught out on Thursday afternoon (whether these will be run at reduced line speeds is uncertain) – and Rhoose Cardiff International Airport said they wouldn’t open their doors again for flights until tomorrow morning at 6am at the earliest.
With reports coming in from other corners of Wales and Britain over the situation so far (including several fatalities, crashes, rail damage and people left stranded in places from motorways to holiday parks), it is unknown if this weather event will cease over the weekend, especially given that the Met Office reported Tredeger didn’t reach above -4.7OC all day – beating the record for lowest maximum temperature ever recorded in March over a 24 hour period.
Reporting from a blizzard-like valleys, this is David Malins, WCBF News, from the Rhondda.”