'˜Snow heroes' of Leeds show true grit in big freeze
THEY are the unsung '˜snow heroes' who have been going the extra mile to help others across Leeds after the Beast from The East sent temperatures plummeting.
A string of heartwarming stories of hard work and generosity have emerged as people across the city face the Arctic conditions with a smile.
Among the city’s ‘snow heroes’ are the 60 drivers on Leeds City Council’s gritting teams who have been working 12-hour shifts in a bid to keep 800 miles of roads clear of snow and ice this week.
Russell Martin, the council’s highways maintenance manager, said: “We have been working around the clock from Monday and have spread over 2,000 tonnes of salt.
“I have been working in highways for more than 30 years and this is one of the toughest spells we have ever had.
“We have had extremely low temperatures so the snow isn’t melting, it’s just building up and building up.
“The effort is taking its toll on the teams, but morale is high.
“I’m really pleased with how the main roads are looking. I don’t think we could have done a better job.”
A Leeds care worker forced to abandon her car in the snow walked two miles across fields to reach a client in need.
Bluebird Care supervisor Wendy Cross had arranged to visit a man with a spinal injury at his home in Guiseley, but became stuck in difficult conditions once she reached Yeadon.
She completed the remainder of the journey on foot.
Paying tribute to Wendy and her colleagues, care manager Emily Renoble said “These care assistants put so many other industries to shame.
“Our girls are out in little cars, and on foot, travelling around the city for a wage that some people wouldn’t get out of bed for, and they are doing an amazing job. A bit of positivity in all this snow.”
Valjit Soor, who runs Apollo Fisheries in Morley town centre, has given around 50 bags of chips away for free to cheer up chilly townsfolk over the past two freezing cold days.
Mr Soor, who has also been giving people free cups of tea and coffee, said: “It’s really cold and I want to keep them warm.”
He added: “It’s just an opportunity to give back to the community and thank them for the support they have shown over the years. People are surpised and happy.”
Asquith Primary School in Morley was one of the many schools forced to close yesterday, but staff provided essential childcare for parents.
Headteacher Gillian Austerfield, said: “Staff joined the children for reading and hot chocolate to celebrate World Book Day.”
IT is forecast to be freezing cold and windy in Leeds on Friday with a few flurries of snow.
The Met Office said the maximum temperature in the city on Friday (March 2) is set to be 0c but it will feel more like -5C.
Met Office meteorologist Martin Bowles said: “The maximum temperature (in Leeds) on Saturday will be around 1C.
“On Sunday we are expecting some lights snow showers during the day and a maximum temperature of 3C.