Health warnings as cold snap hits the North

Blizzards sweep through Kielder in Northumberland, as snow covers the area.
Blizzards sweep through Kielder in Northumberland, as snow covers the area.
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A cold weather alert was issued yesterday across northern England.

Upland areas in the region are today expected to wake up to more wintry weather, with cold temperatures likely to persist into Sunday morning. Health chiefs are urging people to look out for vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbours.

Stephen Morton, regional director for Public Health England, said: “Cold does kill, even in places where the temperatures aren’t at their lowest.

“This is also a good time to think about how the bad weather may affect your friends and family, particularly if they are older or very young or have pre-existing health conditions.

“Our advice is that when indoors, have plenty of warm food and drinks to stay warm and try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long-term illness or are 65 or over.”

Power was yesterday restored to thousands of homes left without electricity after gales and lightning strikes swept northern Britain.

Properties in the Western Isles were worst affected by the stormy conditions along the west coast of Scotland. A wind speed of 144mph was recorded on St Kilda, with gusts of more than 80mph also hitting some low-lying areas.

Snow and rain will clear today to give way to brighter weather, although unsettled conditions will return for the weekend.