Heavy snow in South Cumbria leaves people stranded overnight and thousands without electricity

Cumbria Police said a multi-agency response is ongoing to deal with the severe weather. Credit: Sammy Thompson / Stuart Franklin / Mark English

A major incident was declared by Cumbria Police last night due to heavy snowfall in the South Lakes area, which left hundreds of people stranded overnight and thousands more without power.

Officers opened up an emergency refuge centre in Ambleside Parish Centre for people who had to abandon cars.

In Hawkshead, a local primary school opened its doors and handed out blankets to those stuck.

  • WATCH: Heavy snowfall hits Ambleside

Credit: Harrison Ward

ITV Border spoke to Sammy Thompson, who stayed overnight in the school. She said around 100 people were there through the night.

Ms Thompson said: "The school head Carol and staff have been amazing. They need a shoutout, and the whole village here too."

People sought shelter in Hawkshead Primary School. Credit: ITV Border

Electricity North West’s list of live power cuts showed at 10am that 2,508 customers were affected across Cumbria, including 256 in Lowick, South Lakeland.

In most cases, the electricity operator estimated that power would be restored at 10pm on Sunday.

Police said in a statement that a multi-agency response to deal with the snow was in place, and that gritters and snowploughs had been deployed.

The force also said: "We are continuing to see challenging conditions in Cumbria."Agencies across the county have been working hard and will be into the night in response to the impact of heavy snowfall."

ITV Border understands main road routes have been targeted first in order to clear the snow from there, which has left some more rural areas more likely to be cut off.

A yellow weather warning is still in place for snow and ice until 11am this morning (Sunday 3 December), and people are being urged not to travel unless necessary.

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