Breakdown update

Warmer weather set to follow snow

Warmer weather set to follow snow

Drivers are being urged to heed flood-warning signs as two motorists have already been fined for wasting police time.

Drivers should watch out for localised flooding as the snow turns to rain, says the AA, with many parts of the country subject to flood warnings They are also being urged to heed flood-warning signs as two motorists have already been fined for wasting police time.

So far today (as at 16:00), the AA has attended around 8,500 breakdowns nationwide, including 33 cars stuck in snow or flood water. Call-outs are currently coming in at around 1,100 every hour and the AA expects to attend more than 12,000 breakdowns today, compared to around 9,500 on an average Wednesday.

Darron Burness, the AA's Head of Special Operations, says: "The snow today has caused some difficulties, particularly in North-west England and South-west Scotland, but thankfully is passing through fairly quickly. After the snow comes the risk of flooding so drivers should take extra care on the roads and stay out of flood water."

Flood incident

The warning comes after two men were reportedly fined at the weekend* for wasting police time after their 4x4 was swept 60 metres down the River Mole, near Umberleigh, Devon. The rescue operation reportedly cost several thousand pounds and initially involved a search and rescue helicopter.

Flood water is deceptive. Just one foot of flowing water could be enough to move the average family car

Darron Burness, AA Head of Special Operations

Darron Burness says: "The incident in Devon at the weekend illustrates the relentless and dangerous power of flood water. The river, swollen by recent rain, swept their car away, so the men could very easily have become trapped and drowned.

"Those two men had a very lucky escape but not only did they put their own lives at grave risk but also those of the emergency services.

"But it doesn't have to be a raging torrent. Flood water is deceptive – just one foot of flowing water could be enough to move the average family car – so regardless of the vehicle you're in, stay out of flood water."

Flood-water dangers

AA Special Operations flood rescue team has prepared some advice on the dangers of flood water, including flood facts and health risks.

Those in areas at risk of flooding should check the Environment Agency website for the latest information and sign up for free flood warnings on the Environment Agency’s website or by calling the Environment Agency Flood Line on 0845 988 1188.


Monday 11 February

(as as 4pm)

Overnight snow and low temperatures have caused a flurry of breakdowns this morning, reports the AA, which has its ‘severe weather’ Land Rover crews out working.

The cold continues to cause car problems with the AA attending around 6,800 breakdowns nationwide so far today (as at 12:00), including 62 cars stuck in snow or flood water. By the end of the day, the AA expects to attend more than 15,000 breakdowns, compared to around 10,500 on an average Monday. Breakdowns are currently coming in at around 1,500 every hour (peaking at around 1,660) with workload high across the country, particularly the Midlands and north Home Counties.

As the snow turns to rain, stay out of any flood water as it's just not worth the risk

Darron Burness, AA Head of Special Operations

As snow turns to rain

Darron Burness, the AA’s Head of Special Operations, says: "We had a smattering of people stuck in snow and ice this morning but it’s the cold itself that causes a lot of car problems. Car batteries take a pummelling at this time of year, so if your car’s been giving you problems starting, get the battery tested before it fails.

"Our patrols also reported seeing some people take to the road in cars covered in snow, so allow time to clear it off, not forgetting the roof and lights.

As the snow turns to rain, stay out of any flood water as it’s just not worth the risk – we had a busy weekend after some drivers mistook their car for a submersible! Keep your speed down and put your headlights on if visibility is seriously reduced."

This winter, the AA has been on standby to help care workers get to their patients, particularly in remote areas such as parts of Wales. Its 'storm-chasing' Special Operations team use modified Land Rovers to rescue members in the worst affected areas and it also brought in extra 4x4s to help essential staff get to work.

A breakdown of today

  • Snow and cold conditions hit morning commute
  • We expect to attend more than 15,000 breakdowns today, peaking at 1,660 every hour
  • Risk of localised flooding with snow melt and further rain

AA weather blog

The AA's severe weather team, AA Special Operations, has had a busy weekend and start to the week. They use modified Land Rovers and crews are trained in advanced 4x4 driving. The team works alongside expert meteorologist Matthew Hugo BSc FRMetS, who has a blog on winter weather.


13 February 2013