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> Glasgow Stutters To A Winter Standstill, 'Perfect Storm' grips city (photo special)
GG
post 8th Dec 2010, 11:51pm
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Business leaders, commuters and parents have been left fuming with local and national authorities after winter conditions brought almost the entire city to a standstill. Many shops, schools, museums, libraries, universities and businesses have been forced to close their doors after "a perfect storm" of bad weather effectively incapacitated Glasgow's transport system for almost 48 hours, resulting in an economic loss to the city of at least 30million. Postal sevices have also been severely affected.

Heavy-duty snowploughs had to be drafted in to clear snow and ice from major routes after ordimary ploughs were damaged by hard-packed ice which had trapped hundreds of motorists overnight in their cars as temperatures across the city fell to -15C. Meanwhile, hundreds more motorists simply abandoned their vehicles by the side of the road as motorways and A-roads jammed up under just 5cm of snow in 24 hours.

Commenting on the chaos, a spokesman for city businesses said:
QUOTE
"We need to understand why we still have untreated local roads preventing people from getting to work, and trains being cancelled.

Widespread closure of schools has also resulted in many parents having to stay off work to carry out unplanned childcare duties. For some businesses the impact on their turnover may be the last straw."

Making an emergency statement to the Scottish parliament, transport secretary, Stewart Stevenson, said he was ultimately responsible for the chaotic situation, and apologised to commuters for the closures and delays on many of Scotland's main routes.

Mr Stevenson said:
QUOTE
"On Monday morning we faced a perfect storm. A highly unusual weather system came in and this hit our transport system exceptionally hard.

The fact of the matter is that when the transport system grinds to a halt, and people are forced to spend the night in their cars, then something has clearly gone wrong. I regret this, and apologise for the failure to communicate the situation effectively to the many people affected."

In a related development, teachers have criticised Glasgow City Council for insisting that they report for work despite all city schools being closed to pupils.

Speaking on behalf of teachers, an EIS spokeswoman said:
QUOTE
"In an area where all schools are closed due to dangerous weather conditions, teachers should not be compelled to make their way into those empty schools to carry out work which could be undertaken just as efficiently at home.

The duty of care on the part of the council applies to teachers as employees, so councils should be urging staff to avoid travelling into schools if they have already been closed due to safety concerns."

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GG
post 8th Dec 2010, 11:52pm
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Photographs below show Glasgow during the latest cold spell.

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lindamac
post 9th Dec 2010, 01:20am
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I believe weather beaureaus[sorry cannot spell the word]shouldve been able to determine the conditions to a small degree and disaster plans must always be on a backburner too I think the councils let you all down Glasgow/scotland How come in the likes of America and Canada the councils have it all worked out for heavy snows etc etc how come theres no snow disaster plans that couldve been utelised immediately??????? they let you all down citizens tell them what they did to you all with out a shadow of a doubt you were all wronged by your councilmen& wimmen whom make the decisions at the top. As for poor teachers underpaid understaffed and have terrible things to be confronted with in todays wayward youths [not all kids but the usual minority, that can destroy a whole classrooms atmosphere Iam talking about]the very fact that it is too dangerous for kids to go to school it is even more dangerous for most teachers whom have to drive in or take the transports that were affected anyways so it is ludicrous to insist the teachers show up at the school thats wrongful and endangering to our teachers and the kids alike so leave them to stay at home and mark papers silly council school board! keep what precious teachers we have left HAPPY! for once! Iam sorry you al had to face this minie disaster but to have to rely upon a sleeping council for help is even more to pity you all for Hope you all get cleared up soon .Maybe buses etc can get chains on them in the snowy weather and cars too they do it in America and Canada why not in UK? mad.gif sad.gif sad and upset for you all that are affected by this snow storm.


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proudmaryhiller
post 9th Dec 2010, 01:33am
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I'm thinking on investing in a pair of ice skates! and Glasgow City Council you can whistle for your Council Tax mad.gif just trying to get from A to B you are bliddy exhausted it's now taking double the time to go anywhere, you step off the icy pavement on to the slushy roads very dangerous.

Thanks for your thoughts Linda, it's like hell here, a cold hell!


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lindamac
post 9th Dec 2010, 01:58am
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QUOTE (proudmaryhiller @ 9th Dec 2010, 11:02am) *
I'm thinking on investing in a pair of ice skates! and Glasgow City Council you can whistle for your Council Tax mad.gif just trying to get from A to B you are bliddy exhausted it's now taking double the time to go anywhere, you step off the icy pavement on to the slushy roads very dangerous.

Thanks for your thoughts Linda, it's like hell here, a cold hell!

Nae worries proudmaryhiller hen ahm so sorry fer yees awe back hame terrible cerry oan yees ur awe gaun through. [incidently My Da was a proud Maryhiller tae he was born there and stayed there tae he merrit ma mammy & eez wee maw got a hoose in Shannon street ? Ruchill] I hope the big Thaw doesn't dae too much damage either matey ahm feart yees wull awe go through terrible floodings and burst pipes etc hope yees breakthrough it awe.cheers frae sunny Australia heres a wee bitty sunshine fer ye hen.regards Lindamac x

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It makes that auld Devil mad lols laugh.gif


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Heather
post 9th Dec 2010, 02:37am
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My niece is a Nurse and one day she had to work a 24 hour shift, and another day a 16 hour shift because other staff could not get into the Hospital due to the weather conditions.

Today she could not get to work as there was no busses or trains running and she felt bad as she knows how understaffed the Hospital will be and the strain this will put on the staff who do manage to get into work.


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gerbet2
post 9th Dec 2010, 02:50am
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We have had 180 cm of snow in 3 days .That 's as much snow as we got last winter now we pay this year back to normal. Our buses do not have chains as someone said but we had to take all buses of the road today to get the city cleaned up ,and give snow plough operators and machines a rest. So keep skating it will melt!
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southsider
post 9th Dec 2010, 04:20am
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The reason the US and Canada do an excellent job of handling snow removal, is because weather such as that experienced in Glasgow this week is the norm here for 3-4 months every winter. Local councils budget for snow removal every year, and the sand and salt trucks and ploughs are out as soon as the first flakes hit the ground. In all the years I have been in Canada, (50 years) I can't remember the buses not running, even in the middle of the worst storm they are a welcome sight, albeit sometimes late. If this is to be the norm for Glasgow, then certainly better planning will be necessary to handle it, but snow removal does not come cheap. Must be that global warming.
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gordonmarr
post 9th Dec 2010, 05:39am
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An unusual event happened and has caused a lot of problems, why are we calling for heads to roll because of a series unusual incidents that have been caused by this single incident? If a volcano erupted would we be calling for heads to roll? Mother nature is our superior no matter who you are this is just another reminder of your place in the whole scale of things and for anybody to start the blame game is just nonsense they should just try to help the people who have been affected most.
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lindamac
post 9th Dec 2010, 06:31am
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QUOTE (southsider @ 9th Dec 2010, 01:49pm) *
The reason the US and Canada do an excellent job of handling snow removal, is because weather such as that experienced in Glasgow this week is the norm here for 3-4 months every winter. Local councils budget for snow removal every year, and the sand and salt trucks and ploughs are out as soon as the first flakes hit the ground. In all the years I have been in Canada, (50 years) I can't remember the buses not running, even in the middle of the worst storm they are a welcome sight, albeit sometimes late. If this is to be the norm for Glasgow, then certainly better planning will be necessary to handle it, but snow removal does not come cheap. Must be that global warming.

I think it is great what the Canadians & Americans do to maintain safety for the snowy weather,I think it would be a good back burning idea for all councils worldwide that recieve snaow to have an emergency plan to activate should the unusual occur.
Just a wee question here thats all ,no malice or anything but, don't you think that there should be an emergency plan of procedures should the unusual happen?
naturaly the normal plans should always take effects immediately but why is there no plan for minie little disasters such as this ?for whom are we? to assume there will never be a weather disaster such as has happened, hence why I believe their should be plans to draw upon should the unusual occur even if it stays under mothballs and dustsheets from lack of use I reckon a council couldn't go far wrong to have such a plan at hand. I certainly hope they all learn from this & make a plan for any other unusual weather events. smile.gif


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Toni
post 9th Dec 2010, 06:39am
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In agreement with Southsider. Here in south eastern Ontario, as with many towns right across Canada, we are use to and prepared for heavy snowfalls. Plus, definately since 1998 when we were hit with a devastating ice storm, we now have extra emergency operations at the ready. In most provinces, chains have been banned, as have studded tyres, although with the latter some places still allow them. Most Canadians also have their own emergency supplies, especially in their motors. Some years ago, I had to be on the road late in the evening, many times travelling in a 100 mile radius of my home. In the boot I carried: flares, sand (or kitty litter), shovel, tights, extra anti-freeze and windshield wash. Inside my car I carried: 2 large tins (500g coffee tins are ideal), a doz. 1 inch diameter heavy duty candles, candy and breakfast bars, 2 arctic sleeping bags, 2 down filled pillows, plus made a flask of coffee and 1 of soup to take with me when I left home. I also always carried extra boots, wollen socks, hat which came down over the ears, and 2 pair of mittens (make sure the one pair will fit inside the other pair. You never know when any or all of the items might be needed. In the 8y I was travelling, I only once had to use most of the items carried inside the car. Unless it is in the middle of a snowstorm, with heavy drifting snow, stay in your car, but do not keep the motor running. In the case of heavy drifting snow, if you cannot get safely to a nearby house, try to keep car free of snow as much as possible. Open windows a little when buring the candles, as ventilation is a must. Car should heat up enough so snow is easily removed from windows.

On a Wednesday in February 1970, a short distance from our house on our way to the city, our car fishtailed, getting stuck in a mountainous snowbank. My newly arrived English husband wanted to stay with the car until the plow/sander came. I said no when I noticed the wind had picked up. Took my scarf and tied it around our 2y old's face, then got out and started walking back to our house. Husband soon followed. They dug our car out of 15 foot of snow the following Saturday. Alot of the snow had been blown off the snowbanks during a freak blizzard that blew in off Lake Ontario. At the time, we lived on the largest of the 1000 Islands that straddle the St Lawrence River & Lake Ontario.

We get ice storms all the time during January and February especially, but the one in 1998 was particularly bad and worse than any we'd had (in this area) since 1946. The one before that was back c1880. Most of us also learn at an early age the first signs of frostbite, not only with ourselves, but with others we may be with.

Most years, where I live, we are hoping for a white Christmas. It's been a few years since we've had 'tons' of snow! I've never known our buses to stop either, not even in the ice storm. They just kept off the streets where electric lines and trees were covering the roads. Oddly too, there was little complaining from residents ... everyone pitched to help in any way they could.

My one and only winter in Scotland, we had extremely little snow all winter, but around the 16th April 1968 we had 3-4 ft overnight in Rosyth. I had the yard stick out measuring in various places in our backgarden! More frightening for me were the winds of October or very early November 1967.
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post 9th Dec 2010, 07:02am
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loved the pictures - but do they not have sleds or toboggans in Glasgow? Was looking for the kids enjoying the snow as they do here on the west coast of British Columbia when we get some rare snow days - only 1 snowman! Kids don't care about the cold and how great to get a day off school! June M. Vancouver Island, B.C.
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lindamac
post 9th Dec 2010, 07:08am
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QUOTE (gerbet2 @ 9th Dec 2010, 12:19pm) *
We have had 180 cm of snow in 3 days .That 's as much snow as we got last winter now we pay this year back to normal. Our buses do not have chains as someone said but we had to take all buses of the road today to get the city cleaned up ,and give snow plough operators and machines a rest. So keep skating it will melt

Without wishing to be the voice of gloom & doom here but the melting of these snows are going to pose an even uglier problem than the actual snow, what with burst pipes , flooded/leaking roofs to homes etc theres more to come out of these heavy snows than just the harshness of the snow itself & the getting about from one place to another ,I feel theres going to be a lot of work to be done and not enough workers to do it as usual.I think the councils will have to get their skates on.


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irrie
post 9th Dec 2010, 07:47am
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The storm was bad but here in Renfrewshire people still cant get a bus to work before 8am and the last bus from Paisley is 6pm so without your own transport work is a real problem. All schools are still closed and all waste and recycling services are still suspended. It just seems to be taking a long time to get things moving.
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GG
post 9th Dec 2010, 09:00am
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Helpfully, The Scotsman published a timeline of events as they unfolded:

QUOTE
Sunday 5 December

16:01: Met Office bulletin to the Scottish Government suggests higher parts of Ayrshire and Lanarkshire could see up to 10cm of snow and up to 3cm in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

18:30: The BBC broadcasts a forecast for Monday morning that showed a sea of snow sweeping the Central Belt of Scotland.

20:41: Met Office, which was in constant touch with Scottish Government throughout the weekend, issues a "National Severe Weather Warning". It warns of severe ice, heavy snow in Edinburgh, Central Belt and Strathclyde. Up to 5cm of snow expected.

22:41: On the BBC forecast Met Office weatherman Phil Avery said: "It is all too easy to become complacent, but I should stress that these are fresh warnings from the Met Office about ice and snow ... as a new weather feature brings fresh snowfall into the Central Belt just in time for the rush hour."

Monday 6 December

08:01: Met Office bulletin to the Scottish Government says "amounts of fresh snow will be in the region of 2cm to 5cm, although higher areas may see a further 10cm. Behind this band of snow it will be generally dry and clear".

09:00: Fierce snowstorm engulfs central Scotland for several hours leaving hundreds of motorists stranded.

10:37: Met Office bulletin to the Scottish Government says "the band of snow that moved southeastwards overnight extended further eastwards than forecast, which has given more significant snow accumulations than were expected yesterday across Eastern parts of the Central Belt".

23:10: Scottish transport minister Stewart Stevenson appears on BBC Newsnight and claims that the Scottish Government's response has been "first class".

Tuesday 7 December

08:00: Mr Stevenson appears on BBC's Good Morning Scotland and claims that the "authorities" would "have to look at the advice we had", adding that the weather forecast they were given "appears to have been different" from that of some other forecasters. He added that the Scottish Government was "sorry for the very, very considerable difficulties we have created for people".

Tuesday: Motorists, who have spent the night stranded on M8 are still being dug out.

Wednesday 8 December

08:00: Alex Salmond, below, appears on Radio Scotland and is quizzed over Sunday's 20:41 warning. Mr Salmond says: "I wouldn't go there if I were you, because the previous day's forecast suggested a normal winter's day.

I accept, and incidentally I'm not blaming anybody for this, I accept that forecasts are extremely difficult, but I'm pointing out that and after the event was starting the forecast we were given did not appreciate the full extent of what was about to descend upon Scotland."

13:15: M8 finally re-opens to all traffic.

14:30: Mr Stevenson makes emergency statement to the Scottish Parliament in which he declines to mention the 20:41 flash snow warning issued by the Met on Sunday night.

And it's not over yet ...

Minus nine degrees in mid rush hour spells danger today
http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/Minus-ni...-mid.6654674.jp

The Sun reports that the army has been brought in as "hundreds of soldiers will take to the streets today to clear up the whiteout chaos" ...


Full story here:
http://www.thesun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/n...l#ixzz17bJ1ZcL2


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