Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

North Goes on Chill Stand-By

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

North Goes on Chill Stand-By

Article excerpt

Byline: By Cathy Spencer

Hundreds of parents have been warned that heavy snow and freezing temperatures could mean schools have to close.

A letter has gone out to parents of Newcastle children saying that, due to the severe weather warning for this week, school children may be given the day off.

The big chill is expected to arrive tomorrow when temperatures could plummet as low as -8C, although forecasters warn the wind-chill factor will make it feel even colder, possibly as low as -14C.

A spokeswoman from Newcastle City Council said: "Children may need to be sent home from school and there needs to be someone there to look after them.

"We do take preventative measures against school closures and these include schools being equipped with a frost protection system which guards against burst pipes by switching the boilers on when it drops below a certain temperature.

"If a school is going to close we let parents know as soon as possible via radio, this will be Century Radio, Metro Radio and Radio Newcastle."

Education bosses at Gateshead Council say they are also warning schools of the severe weather conditions.

Director of Education Maggie Atkinson said: "In preparation for the projected bad weather conditions, we have alerted Gateshead schools to the potential problems they might encounter.

"Schools deal with situations like this individually - headteachers and governing bodies are responsible for making decisions about the impact of problem weather when it arises. Should the weather take a turn for the worse, we urge everyone to watch out for the local weather forecasts on radio and TV for news about the weather affecting schools, public transport routes, roads or pathways."

Schools in Sunderland have been asked to ensure there is plenty of salt to help keep pathways clear and playgrounds usable.

Council staff throughout the region say they are busy ensuring their gritting and snow ploughing equipment is available.

A Durham spokesman said: "We currently have 23,000 tonnes of salt ready and waiting and are aware of the forecast for next week.

"But our message to drivers is that weather conditions can change very quickly. Not all roads will be treated."

National engineering company, Network Rail, has 90 specialised trains on stand-by this weekend to blow snow off the tracks while engineers will carry out extra checks on automatic heaters.

Drive carefully

Dale Mohler senior meteorologist for AccuWeather has given the Chronicle a guide to the week ahead.

MONDAY: The temperature will drop dramatically tonight reaching -8C.

TUESDAY: A storm will come in off the Atlantic Ocean bringing snow. Daytime highs, just 1C and night, as low as -12C.

WEDNESDAY: Commuters should expect to have to deal with around 15cm of snow. …

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