SNOW, ice, and freezing temperatures have been the topics of conversation on most people’s lips across the Market Raisen area during the last seven days.
Every school in the area was closed at some point last week due to the treacherous conditions, and although most were able to re-open this week on Monday, December 6, some pupils were still enjoying snow days as classrooms stayed shut.
Such was the urge to get Caistor Grammar School back open and ready for exams this week, pupils turned out en masse on Friday, December 3, to clear the campus of snow.
Minor roads to villages were rendered impassable, cutting off the likes of Binbrook, Osgodby and Tealby to those without 4x4s or tractors. Even the A46 at Caistor was too dangerous to use at one point last week.
Even the Market Rasen Mail found it tough, with last Wednesday’s issue stuck in a Lincoln warehouse until Thursday morning.
And the cold weather looks here to stay. On Monday a low of minus 12.2 degrees celcius was recorded and the maximum daytime temperature last Friday was a teeth-chattering minus 4.6 degrees celcius.
Anouska Sawyer, from Tealby, said: “We have had power cuts, sporadic mobile phone reception, and no Sky TV for days.
“Many trees have fallen in the village due to the weight of the snow, and the snow is now in parts up to waist high.”
The weight of snow has also brought down guttering from homes across the area.
But residents of The Poplars and Lammas Leas found help was at hand after Vera Compton called RAF Kirton Lindsey.
Within hours Flt Lt Chris Wilkinson, Cpl Phil Littlewood, SAC Andy Clarke, SAC Ben O’Connel and SAC Dan Draper, were at the care home and sheltered housing complex with all-terrain vehicles and snow shovels in hand to clear paths and drives.
Flt Lt Wilkinson said: “Part of the military’s role is to help the community so we are more than happy to help in this area when called upon like this.”
Mrs Compton said: “It’s fantastic that they have come down.
“It’s nice to see how willing they are to get involved and help people out.”
While the young have revelled in the snow, building igloos and going sledging, West Lindsey’s refuse collectors have found it impossible to do their job.
Bins have not been collected in more than a week and were still not going ahead when the Market Rasen Mail went to press.
Waste services manager Glyn Pilkington said: “The safety of our staff and other road users is of paramount importance to us. We are anxious to restart collections as soon as we can but it must be safe for us to do so.
“Residents are asked to keep their bins accessible so that if an opportunity arises for collections to restart we can easily get to them. Updates are being published on our website at www.west-lindsey.gov.uk .”
The problems in West Lindsey were compounded last week because the council could not even access its depots at Gainsborough and Market Rasen until Friday, so no vehicles could get in or out.
Mr Pilkington added: “On Friday we dug out the depot and cleared snow from both the police and ambulance stations.
“On Saturday and Sunday our staff were out gritting in the Market Place and on Pingle Hill in Gainsborough and today we have crews working in Gainsborough and Market Rasen dealing with the priority routes for the county council. “
The Met Office are currently forecasting a milder weekend ahead, before a return to freezing temperatures next week.