Second bout of heavy snow in less than a week brings chaos and tragedy to the region

This is The West Country: A farmer moving sheep in the snow at Christ Cross Hill above Silverton A farmer moving sheep in the snow at Christ Cross Hill above Silverton

HEAVY snow brought chaos and tragedy to the region as dozens of schools closed, roads were blocked and pavements left treacherous.

The first batch of snow came last Friday and the A361 was blocked for hours after a HGV skidded on ice and jack-knifed around 6am and two other cars collided at Bolham.

A number of roads across Exmoor were also closed, including the A399 at Friendship Cross due to five-foot snow drifts and the B3224 at Dulverton.

On Saturday, 57-year-old Dulverton postman John Bircham died after suffering a suspected heart attack as he tried to dig his delivery van of out snow.

His son Wayne described him as an “amazing man.”

On Tuesday evening, more snow fell onto already-wet roads, forcing drivers to abandon their vehicles on Fore Street in Wellington.

Devon County Council's fleet of gritters were out treating 1,700 miles of roads clear and police bosses praised drivers for heeding the advice to only travel unless absolutely necessary.

Train services coped well with just minor delays but dozens of schools across Wellington, Tiverton, Cullompton and Exmoor have been affected and some still remain closed today (Thursday).

As reported online at www.middevonstar.co.uk/news plenty of you kept us in touch with how the snow developed during the week.

On Twitter, RyanAtkins90 said: “Snowing like crazy in Cullompton not one flake in Exeter!!”

_SachaFierce added: “So much snow in Tiverton.”

The weather looks to be taking a milder turn this weekend with forecasters not predicting any more snow until mid-February at the earliest.

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