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City prepares for 'Beast from the East'

Preparations are in hand in Swansea as forecasters are predicting freezing temperatures and the possibility of snow as the 'Beast from the East' hits Wales this week.

Gritting barn

The Met Office has issued a yellow snow warning and wind warning for South Wales on Thursday.

It comes as freezing air from Siberia is expected to sweep across the UK throughout the week.

In Swansea the council's fleet of winter gritting vehicles will be on the roads when needed.

Between 800 and 1,000 tonnes of grit could be spread on the city's roads in the coming days. More than 800 grit bins strategically placed in communities across the city have also been filled with grit so that residents can assist in keeping pavements clear.

If it snows there is the possibility of school closures. The decision on whether to open or close lies with each school's headteacher in consultation with their school governors.

School closures are broadcast in the morning on The Wave and Swansea Sound, many schools will also use their Twitter accounts and there will be updates at www.swansea.gov.uk/snow

Cllr Mark Thomas, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Environment Services, said: "Making sure our main roads are safe to drive during cold wintry conditions is vital to keep Swansea on the move.

"We have more than enough grit to maintain our roads if, as expected, we experience severe conditions. Our aim is to make sure main routes for public transport, emergency vehicles and other traffic can still get about in icy conditions.

"We prioritise which routes are treated, including main roads and bus routes."

The Council's Cold Weather plan will be in operation over the next few days and, as part of this plan, the Rough Sleeping Team will ensure that all rough sleepers will be offered overnight accommodation so they don't have to spend the coming nights out in the cold.

A council spokesman said: "The Council and the voluntary sector will be working very closely over the next few days to ensure that any person found sleeping rough is offered appropriate support and encouraged to take advantage of a warm bed and hot food during this cold snap."


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