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Drivers warned to take care as Norfolk is braced for more snow tonight

15:33 25 January 2013

A gritter lorry heading towards Babingley on the A149. Picture: Ian Burt

A gritter lorry heading towards Babingley on the A149. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2013

Drivers are being warned to take care as Norfolk is braced for more snow tonight.

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Forecasters are predicting heavy snow overnight, followed by rain, wind and a rapid thaw on Saturday night and Sunday, and Norfolk County Council’s gritting team will be working hard to keep the county’s road network running.

A council spokesman said: “Norfolk County Council’s gritters will be carrying out two gritting runs this afternoon and this evening to make sure the priority routes are well salted before the arrival of snow, which is expected to become heavy at around midnight.

“With forecasters predicting 4-10cms of snow, snowploughs will be fitted to gritters and new crews will go straight out at midnight and continue for as long as necessary.”

The spokesman said forecasters are warning that as the snow clears tomorrow morning it may turn to rain, followed by a sudden dip in temperatures as skies clear.

“Motorists are warned that there is therefore an increased risk that roads will be icy tomorrow morning, in spite of the efforts of the gritting crews. County Council gritters are preparing to work nonstop, but it takes up to three hours to treat the priority network of just over 2,000 miles,” the spokesman said.

“The County Council has also put farmers on alert around the county in case minor roads need clearing tomorrow morning, and Norwich City Council will have nine teams out on foot from 7am at known troublespots around Norwich.

“With thousands of supporters expected from Luton for the sell-out FA Cup match against Norwich City at Carrow Road, special arrangements are being made to treat pedestrian routes to and from the football ground.”

A slow thaw is expected to start on Saturday, becoming a rapid thaw as rain and gales arrive on Saturday night. Temperatures on Sunday are expected to reach 8 to 9C on Sunday - the highest since the cold spell began more than two weeks ago.

Although the snow will be rapidly disappearing, motorists are warned to be prepared for standing water on roads.

As well as the large quantity of water from rain and snowmelt, some of the drainage channels may have been affected by snowploughing during the worst of the weather, which has also prevented routine clearance of drains and roadside drainage grips (cuts into the verge to take water off roads).

In addition, the thaw is likely to be followed by an increase in the number of potholes caused by the big freeze.

Potholes can be reported online at www.norfolk.gov.uk, and dangerous road defects needing urgent action can be reported on 0344 800 8020.

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