– Cars abandoned and 100,000 without power – Vast swathes of Britain hit by snow and ice (Ice Age Now, Dec 27, 2014):
Experts fear that this winter could be as deadly as two years ago, when there were an estimated 31,100 more deaths than normal in England and Wales.
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Sleet and snow hit the north of England, the Midlands and Scotland as the Met Office warns that nearly all the UK has been gripped by ice.
More than 100,000 homes were left without power as heavy snow wreaked havoc on electricity cables.
Trains in and out of King’s Cross have been completely cancelled, leaving thousands of Christmas travellers stranded.
Both Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport and Leeds Bradford International in Yorkshire closed while their runways were cleared of snow.
Many drivers became marooned by heavy snow in Sheffield, Chesterfield and the Peak District.
Snow had been predicted for parts of north Wales, the North West and the Midlands, with a Met Office Level Three amber cold weather alert in place and a yellow warning of snow across a large swathe of the UK.
In the West Midlands West Bromwich Albion lost 3-1 to Manchester City in a game played in a blizzard at The Hawthorns.
An area including Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, the Midlands, East Anglia, the North West, Yorkshire and as far south east as London and Kent has been put on a separate yellow alert for snow by the Met Office.
Experts are concerned this winter could be as deadly as two years ago, when there were an estimated 31,100 more deaths than normal in England and Wales.
The figure represents the highest excess winter mortality since 2008-9, when 36,450 “extra” deaths were recorded.
Campaigners and charities blamed high energy prices and poor home insulation for what they described as preventable deaths.
The Met Office has warned there is a 90 per cent chance of more severe cold, ice and snow between today and New Year. Temperatures could drop as low as minus 10C (14F) in some places.