Big freeze 'for another month'

The Met Office has warned the freezing weather could last until the end of April, suggesting that temperatures are unlikely to recover to normal averages until the latter part of next month. Hundreds are facing a sixth day without power in Scotland.

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Sheep farmer's 'career is over' after severe cold

Northern Irish Sheep Farmer James McHenry, who said he was "born to sheep" and has kept the animals his entire life has seen his farmer career will come to an end due to the recent severe weather.

Mr McHenry said, "I realised last night that my farming career is over and I've spoken to other farmers who in something similar and this is it. It's the end of an era. When those sheep in the field are dead, they are irreplaceable."

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Floods, flocks and fires as big freeze set to stay

A cyclist rides down Ranelagh Drive in Richmond which was briefly flooded due to spring tides leaving parked cars under water Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Eamon McNeill rescues two new born lambs from the snow as thousands of sheep are feared dead in the area Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire
Janette Hamilton cooks on a wood burning stove at her home in Southend in Scotland after loosing her power supply Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

'Majority' of Scottish homes to be reconnected tonight

Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution has said it expects to restore power to the majority of homes that are still cut off in western Scotland.

It said its engineers had "effectively established the equivalent of two new power stations" to provide temporary power, one on Arran and one on the Kintyre peninsula.

Engineers try to fix a damaged pylon in Kintyre, Scotland Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

It predicts that less than 100 homes on Kintyre and around 350 homes on Arran will remain without power overnight, while the majority should be reconnected by 6pm tonight.

Engineers at work in Kintyre, Scotland Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

RAF helicopter helps farmers in Northern Ireland

An RAF Chinook helicopter making deliveries in the Glens of Antrim Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire

An RAF Chinook helicopter is making air drops of livestock feed for a second day in order to help farmers hit by the heavy snow in Northern Ireland, UTV reports.

The Chinook made deliveries to the Glens of Antrim on Tuesday, and is now understood to be heading to the Dromara area of South Down.

Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill said that the Irish Air Corps was also providing air support to help find and rescue stranded livestock.

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Some 1,650 homes without power in western Scotland

Around 1,650 homes are still without power in western Scotland after the wintry conditions damaged power lines.

Scottish and Southern Energy said 925 homes remained cut off overnight in Kintyre, Argyll, and 725 on the Isle of Arran.

An engineer walks past a damaged power line in Kintyre in Scotland Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The firm said its hopes to have everyone connected to a temporary power supply by the end of Thursday.

Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown told BBC Radio Scotland said that a "huge effort" by all agencies involved has reduced the number of people without power "by about 90% from about 18,000 ... to below 2,000".

Locals pick up free food from a food van in Campbeltown hospital in Kintyre Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The big freeze set to last for another month

A tractor tries to clear roads in the hills above Glenarm, in the Glens of Antrim. Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The freezing weather engulfing the UK could last until the end of April, weather forecasters have predicted.

The Met Office suggests temperatures are unlikely to recover to normal averages until the latter part of next month.

It has issued a cold weather alert for much of England, with a 100% probability of severe cold weather and icy conditions until Friday.

SSE: Power could be fully restored by Thursday night

Yesterday Scottish and Southern Energy restored electricity to 700 homes and 400 engineers are expected to continue their efforts today to fix power lines toppled by heavy snow.

It is thought the hundreds of homes still without power everyone will be reconnected by the end of tomorrow.

Conditions continue to be challenging, but we believe that, providing no further significant damage to the network is found, customers who lost their supply as a result of the recent severe weather event should have electricity restored by the end of Thursday night.

– Scottish and Southern Energy
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