Work continues to make Torbay safe.

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Griitters have been focusing on primary red and blue routes across Torbay after more snow fell on higher ground. They’ll be trying to keep main routes open around the Bay and will be monitoring conditions closely. Motorists are once again being advised not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

Highways and TOR2 staff have been working around the clock. Gritting started on Wednesday and recommenced at 5am on Thursday. However, because of the severity of the weather, the considerable amount of road salt grit that was been put down wasn’t effective enough to keep routes moving, despite continuing efforts throughout the day.

Treatments, including ploughing, was carried out throughout the morning, the afternoon, the evening and in the early hours of Friday morning, concentrating of the main routes. Five gritters have been salting secondary routes today and gritting some residential areas. In addition, manual workers have been clearing and treating footways in town centre and shopping areas, as well as in residential estates. Existing staff have been deployed as this additional resource, and will continue to support the clear up whilst it is needed.

Because of the adverse weather conditions and the number of abandoned vehicles, Torbay Council has suspended all parking enforcement. Motorists are being advised that they should recover cars as soon as it is safe to do so.

As well as the snow, parts of Torbay have also been flooded, including Torre Abbey, Youngs Park, Goodrington South and Torbay Park. More flooding is expected this weekend, due to spring tides and a possible storm surge, so seafront roads are likely to be closed as a precaution. The flooding has already caused damage to footpaths and street furniture, and Torbay’s sea defences have taken a battering. Inspections will take place to assess the damage as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, people are being advised to avoid these areas and exposed seafront locations.

Domiciliary care workers have been going above and beyond during this period of bad weather. We have had examples of where staff have walked many miles in treacherous condition to get to vulnerable people. One carer walked from Torquay to Paignton and back last night. Today, carers prepared to stay locally in order to get into work this morning to cover calls. It has not been possible to cover all calls, however, domiciliary carers have prioritised high risk/need visits.

Torbay’s Elected Mayor, Gordon Oliver, said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been working tirelessly to deal with the issues caused by these exceptional weather conditions. Highways and Tor2 who are trying to deal with very difficult conditions on our roads, care staff who are going the extra mile to deliver help to the people who need it the most and many other staff who are working long hours to address the challenge..

“It’s important to stress that we are still in emergency mode and we hope to start the recovery phase as quickly as we can. There has been and will be unavoidable disruptions to normal services and we apologise for this inconvenience. We will do all we can to get Torbay back on track.

“Weather warnings are still in place so I urge everyone to stay vigilant this weekend. The safety of everyone living and working in the Bay is our main priority.”

Waste collections will resume as soon as possible, but residents are being advised that there will be a delay in returning to normal service collections. The Household Waste Recycling Centre will remain closed until Monday.

Schools have been maintaining communication with parents and staff to let them know when they are closed. A list is also available at http://www.torbay.gov.uk/school-closures

Whilst the cold weather continues Torbay Council’s Public Health team has been offering this advice:

· Look out for friends and family who may be vulnerable to the cold and ensure they have access to warm food and drinks and are managing to heat their homes adequately.

· Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over.

· Stay tuned for weather forecasts, ensure you are stocked with food and medications in advance (but avoid stockpiling), arrange deliveries or ask a friend to help.

· Take weather into account when planning your activity over the coming days.

· If eligible seek entitlements and benefits such as Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments, which are available to some.

· If you meet the criteria, register for priority service with your energy and water suppliers.

· Avoid exposing yourself to cold or icy outdoor conditions if you are at a higher risk of cold related illness or falls

· Discuss with friends and neighbours about clearing snow and ice from in front of your house and public walkways nearby.

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