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Jon Super/AP
A policeman is seen covered in snow near Immingham, England.

Worst Snowfall in 20 Years Shuts Down Much of Southern England

February 02, 2009 10:34 AM
by Christopher Coats
More than a foot of snow fell on most of southern England Sunday, causing mass delays and disruptions as transportation and emergency systems were left handicapped.
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Forecasters predict that the blizzards will mirror a 1991 storm that was followed by several days of subfreezing temperatures, creating havoc across the country’s urban centers, according to British newspaper The Guardian.

Already, train, metro and bus systems have been shut down, stranding millions of commuters and leading London Mayor Boris Johnson to suspend the city’s congestion driving tax to thank those workers who braved the weather to drive to work.

However, drivers found a great number of the nation’s busiest highways closed or subject to long delays, including the M25, which surrounds London.

Further, the country’s airports were mostly shuttered as the storm descended, leaving thousands of travelers stranded, The Telegraph reports. Although runways at Gatwick have partially reopened, Heathrow and Stamstead airports remain closed or subject to long delays Monday.

Coupled with the delays and cancellations of the Eurostar Train, connecting England to the European continent, the closures affected tens of thousands of travelers journeying in and out of the United Kingdom.

Although the surprising burst of blizzards have kept much of the south of England home, taking “duvet days,” some Londoners have set out to make the most of the arctic weather, navigating their way through the city on skies and snowboards.

According to the Times of London, more snow and predicted freezing temperatures will continue to bombard the south for the rest of the week.
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