A major snow storm pummeled Britain on Sunday, causing a major halt in travel and daily life. The storm is the heaviest the commonwealth has experienced in four years, with temperatures dropping below the teens, as up to 11 inches fell in some areas, such as Wales. The freeze has resulted in a major icing of all roads, railways, and airport runways, that some are dubbing Black Ice Monday due to its crippling affects.
Schools were cancelled on Monday, and thousands were left without power from the storm. Western Power Distribution plans to restore the 10,000 homes in Midlands, South Wales, and South West by Tuesday. While drivers have not been banned from roads, officials caution about icy conditions and recommend two to three times usual travel time to get to their destinations.
Railways have stopped service, or are experience substantial delays from the icy tracks that are too dangerous for trains. The Tube, however is running.
The scene at Heathrow airport is not pretty. Thousands are stranded and awaiting alternate travel plans. Passengers are complaining about lack of information from both the airport and their respective airlines. British Airways has issued apologies about the delay, and is offering refunds to any passenger who does not want to travel on Monday, regardless of their flight’s operation. Some 50,000 British Airways customers have been left stranded at the airport.
Due to the masses who cannot leave, Heathrow has advised passengers who are scheduled to fly on Monday to check their flight status. Those with cancelled flights are instructed not to come to the chaotic airport, but keep tabs on the status of their flight situation on their airline’s website.
Weather in England on Monday is clear, with temperatures expected to drop to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. While wintry weather is expected from France, weather reports indicate it will not have this kind of crippling impact.