Essex Police deal with 300 weather-related incidents overnight

PUBLISHED: 12:21 18 December 2009 | UPDATED: 07:29 30 May 2010

ESSEX Police dealt with more than 300 weather-related incidents after heavy snow fell on much of the county during Thursday night and Friday morning.

Between 10pm and 10am the calls included 55 to road collisions, 25 fallen power cables and 17 downed tree

ESSEX Police dealt with more than 300 weather-related incidents after heavy snow fell on much of the county during Thursday night and Friday morning.

Between 10pm and 10am the calls included 55 to road collisions, 25 fallen power cables and 17 downed trees. Fortunately there were no reports of serious injuries at any of the incidents.

There were also 49 calls to youths causing a nuisance by throwing snowballs at passing vehicles or at properties and numerous 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.

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.

At 10am the worst-affected road was the A12 between Colchester and the Suffolk border. At the same time Essex police were dealing with two collisions on the M11 north of Stansted.

Superintendent Ivor Harvey said that with further freezing conditions expected over the next few days drivers were advised to only make journeys if they were absolutely necessary.

"We also ask drivers to ensure that they clear ice from their windscreens and side windows before setting off because there have been collisions caused by people not being able to see where they are going," he said.

Supt Harvey said that all the force's 4x4 vehicles were being used to deal with incidents in the worst of the ice and snow.

He also urged young people to act responsibly and not to throw snowballs at passing vehicles or at buildings. He also asked people to use the 999 system responsibly to report emergencies.

Chief Inspector Jon Dodman said: "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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