EMERGENCY services and local councils have been working together across North Yorkshire to keep roads clear and people safe as Storm Arwen continues to affect the county.

Multi-agency teams have been pulling out all the stops to protect residents and to support Northern Powergrid - which is working hard to restore power to people’s homes and businesses.

People are also being urged look out for neighbours and friends, particularly elderly residents and those who are vulnerable in the current circumstances, as many thousands of people are still without power today across the Northern region - with many areas of North Yorkshire affected.

Neil Irving, of the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum, said: “County and district councils and emergency services continue to pull out all the stops to keep highways clear and our residents safe and we are calling on all our residents to help us in this endeavour.

“Travel only if you need to and remain vigilant. Above all please look out for neighbours and friends particularly those who are elderly and frail who may be without power for a prolonged period in very cold weather, especially as nightfall approaches. 

“We are calling on friends and neighbours and people without power to consider making arrangements together to move people into warm accommodation until power is restored.”

With the Met Office forecasting that high winds are set to continue throughout the day across the region along with cold weather and very low temperatures, people are urged to look out for those in their neighbourhood who may remain without power for a prolonged period.

The Environment Agency (EA) and local councils are also urging people to stay away from coastal areas due to the danger of high winds and waves which continue to affect coastal roads and paths. People are urged to avoid seafronts and piers and placing themselves in danger in case of overtopping by waves. At least one person has been swept out by the waves and rescued off the North Yorkshire coast today.

Volumes of sea foam whipped up by the storm has led to closure of the carriageway at Sandsend and the Pier Road at Whitby and North Bay Scarborough have been closed.  People attending events on the coast need to remain vigilant.

North Yorkshire Police are urging people if they do need to travel to be alert to the conditions drive accordingly and leave extra time for their journey, checking the weather forecast and flood alerts before setting off so they are prepared for any eventuality.

Inspector Amy Hunter from North Yorkshire Police, said: “Due to the high level demand in calls for service there may be a delay when calling the police on 101. We ask members of the public not to ring 999 if you can’t get through on 101, please leave the lines free for genuine emergencies.

“Thank you for your patience and understanding while we deal with the effects of the storm, and please stay safe.”

Highways teams along with farmer contractors have been busy opening roads due to snow and responding to almost two hundred reports of fallen trees.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has attended and supported the community at around 50 incidents. The majority of these incidents included falling trees, power lines and dangerous structures.

Over the next 48hours particularly cold temperatures are forecast with high risk of frost and ice, along with some residual snow. Temperatures could be as low as minus eight degrees in parts of the county with some snow showers continuing.