UK & World News
Snow And Rain: Woman Missing After Floods
A woman is missing after the country was lashed by heavy rain, floods and snow that have brought widespread disruption.
Police spent the morning using a sniffer dog to search for the woman after floodwater crashed through her home in Looe, Cornwall.
Devon and Cornwall Police say Susan Norman, who is in her 60s, has not been seen or heard of since 6pm yesterday.
Neighbours said they heard "windows popping" at the three-storey property under the pressure of a torrent of surface water which had been washed down the road behind the building, which is split into three flats.
Fire and Rescue search teams have been unable to carry out a thorough search of the building as it is too dangerous.
Devon and Cornwall Police duty inspector Graham Claybourn said: "The property and adjoining properties were evacuated this morning, everybody was accounted for.
"However, one lady has not been accounted for. She lives in the ground flat."
It came as up to 40cm (16ins) of snow was expected over high ground in the Midlands, north and east Wales and northwest England, with 10-15cm (four to six ins) in lower lying areas.
Up to 30cm (12ins) of snow was predicted for Northern Ireland across the hills of counties Antrim and Down, with high winds leading to blizzard conditions.
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The snow was expected to continue into Saturday with the Met Office saying another 5-10cm (4-6ins) was possible in some areas of central Britain.
Two amber warnings for snow have been issued, meaning that the public in some places should be prepared for "severe disruption, particularly to transport and power supplies".
The bad weather resulted in the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria being shut down.
A spokesman said: "In response to the current and predicted adverse weather conditions on and around the Sellafield site, as a precaution, a site incident has been declared and the plants on the site have been moved to a controlled, safe, shutdown state.
"There is no reason to believe that there will be any off-site nuclear, environmental or conventional safety issues associated with the incident."
In Northern Ireland, more than 48,000 homes and businesses were left without power and around 60 schools were closed.
George Best City Airport closed its runway for a while but later announced it had reopened and flights from Belfast International Airport were disrupted.
Northern Ireland's World Cup qualifying match against Russia at Windsor Park in Belfast has been called off.
In West Yorkshire, Leeds Bradford International Airport has suspended all flights due to "adverse weather conditions".
The airport has told passengers: "We advise you contact your airline or tour operator and check the status of your flight before arriving at the airport."
Among the main roads affected in the region are the A1(M) between the end of the M1 and the A62 junction, between Leeds and York, where snow has closed a lane, the M62 near Brighouse, where another lane has been closed due to the weather and the A66 across the Pennines which has been closed in both directions between the A685 and the A1.
Police in Cumbria have established a multi-agency 'Gold Group' to co-ordinate its response to a number of incidents.
A spokeswoman said police had received about 20 calls throughout the morning for assistance following multiple reports of road traffic collisions, impassable roads from trees falling, road signs blowing over and heavy snowfall.
Despite a series of accidents on the region's road network, North Wales Police said all main routes were passable but urged drivers to take care.
In the West Midlands, nearly 230 schools shut their doors to pupils, with many reporting burst pipes and frozen heating systems.
In Staffordshire, 170 closed their doors, but there was also disruption in Walsall, Dudley and Wolverhampton.
Nearly 200 schools closed across North Wales and scores more closed across Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lancashire and Cumbria. Schools across Greater Manchester appeared largely unaffected.
In Scotland, police advised supporters travelling to tonight's Scotland V Wales World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park, Glasgow, that due to the adverse weather, Queens Park Recreational Ground, off Queens Drive, would be closed.
They said that as a result, there would be nowhere to park vehicles within the ground for the game and advised people to make other travel arrangements.
Yesterday and last night there was flooding across the South West, with Penzance, Newlyn, Porthleven, Stithians, Bridge, Mevagissey, Colebrook and Holbeam among the towns hit and early reports suggesting around 10 properties had flooded.
At one point, there were 96 flood warnings in place across the country, with south west England the worst affected.
Fifteen flood warnings, meaning flooding is expected, and 40 flood alerts, where flooding is possible, are now in place across the south west. Another 36 flood alerts applied to East Anglia, the Midlands, the south east and Wales.
Sgt Dave Opara, based in Plymouth, said: "There has been a considerable amount of rainfall across the force area."
Cornwall opened its dedicated control centre to deal with the volume of calls about flooding.
Newlyn, in the southwest of the county, was reported to be the worst affected area.
Sky's weather presenter Nazaneen Ghaffar said: "The snow will turn to sleety rain over north Wales and the north Midlands for a time, reverting to snow again later. Southern Britain and south-east Ireland meanwhile will see more heavy rain, bringing local flooding in the west where another 5cm, (2ins) are possible.
"There'll be more snow tonight, from around the M4 up into central Scotland and across the north of Ireland, while southern counties will have yet more rain. Saturday will see snow over central parts slowly fading, but there'll be a raw wind and it will stay near freezing away from the south-west.
"The average temperature for the month so far, combining day and night, has been around 3C, well below the long term average of 6C. It's highly unlikely to be record breaking (the coldest March on record was in 1962, at 1.9C), but it could well be the coldest for over 25 years."
Environment Agency spokesperson Pete Fox said the public can sign up for flood warnings and check the latest information on the Environment Agency's website, or follow us on Twitter at @EnvAgency.
Darron Burness, head of the AA's Special Operations Response Team, said: "It's going to be a real witch's brew of driving wind, rain and snow, which will inevitably cause disruption on the roads.
"Drivers should be well prepared as even short journeys can quickly turn bad."
The Local Government Association said council gritting and ploughing teams would be out in force to try to ensure main roads remained passable.
Meanwhile, the Duchess of Cambridge had to battle through the weather in order to reach her appointment of the day - a Scout camp in the snow-bound Lake District.
Wrapped up against the biting cold, five-months pregnant Kate arrived at the Tower activity centre near Newby Bridge, near Windermere, wearing a fleece, green parka-style jacket, and wearing wellies and a friendship knot.
Kate knelt in the snow to show them how to make fire from sparks using flints and cotton wool, cheering along after one youngster - after several attempts, managed to create a flame.
Also, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is calling on Londoners to donate the items to help the animals in its care during March's unexpected cold snap.
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what do you think?
It's been lovely in Cornwall. However, It's back to miserable wet stuff! Please take great care with driving conditions! Be patient getting from A to B X
James R McCulloch
Bless you Jasmin, so considerate... One of the better comments I've seen for a long time. X
How nice and well thought out. How this was marked down I've no idea. How considerate.
ffreem200.....it probably got a thumbs down by same useless crud that gave your reply a thumbs down. And will mark my reply thumbs down as well. :-)
gave myself a thumbs up first...... :-P
Well said Jasmine, not to bad in Shrewsbury snow nearly all gone,sleet falling at rhe moment. Stay safe everyone down south. Hope the lady in the house is found
Thank you for everyone's kind messages (Lori too) please ignore "thumbs downs".. God help us if they find the reply button. Take care everyone. X
up here in the north we are expecting a big dump of snow very soon :(
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I swear geoengineering is the cause of all this extreme weather across the globe
Its been very spring like here in past few days but yesterday it was well rough.rain rain rain go away come back on andreas washing day.
no problem, have got a tumble dryer. ha ha
Here we go again, another wash out
Usually a wet spring means a dry summer.lets hope so," here comes the sun" do do do " here comes the sun and i say its alright, it feels like years since it been here, here comes the sun.
That was my version of a sun dance.lol
My version of a rain dance consists of a bucket of water and window leather. Used that dance every time there was a hose-pipe ban. Well at least the lawn mowers, strimmers etc. are on hold. Here cometh the yellow thing that used to bringeth warmth....when??? We have four inches of snow here on the equatorial peaks of Derbyshire. The novelty has now worn off. How I long for the irritating sound of the ice cream van. Bring it on. Here comes Summer. Forgot who sang that.....
We must assume that this is caused by the jet stream being in the wrong position, the same as it was last year. We can only hope that it sorts itself out a bit better this year. I remember trying to drive down the A358 to Axminster in early July last year. The Police were turning all the traffic back, because the river had come up and all over the road. We had to go via Chard and the A30. That was not much better. This summer we are hosting the Ashes, and hoping for another win. The weather could win this series. I hope not, but it could happen.
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I'm concerned for the wildlife, especially those that hibernate. That was a nice post from Jasmin :-) So the person who gave a her thumbs down must be strange.
No more than about half inch of snow here in the south midlands. . . Typical. We always miss out.
At least its snow.bewn nothing here all winter just cold and rain and rain and more rain.
Been snowing here I'm bonnie central Scotland but thankfully not lying in the roads. Take care when travelling people
t'was a veritable blizzard here on east Sussex coast a few days ago....... counted 5 flakes of snow....thought trains may be cancelled.
Snow joke is it? (is that not too offensive for you orange?)
Why is it that the uk shuts down when it snows.......it was over three foot in new york and new england
This is normal weather? Did we used to get rain in March or winds? This is the end of March. Shouldn't it be summer? Or even spring? April, May, June? What is this weather going to do to those months? Two weeks of summer in September again this year? I spent most of my childhood overseas but this weather just doesn't look, feel or even sound normal. Even the wind seems spooky. It really does. It also snows a lot in the middle east, lately. Did it used to?