Much of Wales has experienced heavy snowfall during Friday and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is urging residents, especially motorists to safe in the snow!
The “rare” red warning issued by the Met Office remains in place and as expected has caused significant disruption to highways across the County Borough and Council services.
The ongoing inclement weather conditions are set to continue and worsen over the next few days, due to freezing temperatures with a risk of ice.
People are urged to be on their guard, to check the latest conditions and arrangements before venturing out and to ensure they take extreme caution when out and about, especially if they are driving.
Latest updates on Council services from across Rhondda Cynon Taf -
The Council is now concentrating all of its efforts on main A and B routes, to keep main access roads open as long as possible - take extra care on side roads.
ALL Home to School Transport has been withdrawn for today (Friday 18th January).
ALL Schools have been closed today (Friday) with the exception of those holding examinations. As always the decision to close a school due to inclement weather is made, at all times, by the headteacher and governing body. All schools self-populate the school closures web page - ensuring parents and pupils have the latest information on their school.
ALL Refuse and Recycling collections that would usually take place have been cancelled so that officers can be redeployed to deal with situations across the County Borough including town centres.
The Bwlch, Maerdy and Rhigos Mountain Roads remain closed until they are deemed safe for motorists, which is unlikely to be before Monday morning – this situation will be monitored closely with regular updates appearing on this page.
Grit bins have been restocked and residents are advised not to stock pile grit and ensure that their footpaths and roads are treated before using the supplies for their own properties.
The Council is also asking local farmers to come forward and assist them in the clearing of snowfall where possible. Please call 01443 425001 if you are able to assist.
ALL non-emergency hospital operations and appointments for Cwm Taf Health Boards have been cancelled for today (Friday) - Please visit the Cwm Taf Health Board website for more information.
All Council building are now closed, including One4All Centres, Leisure Centre, and Libraries except those dealing with the inclement weather and those who provide emergency assistance. However residents are reminded that emergencies can be handled via 425011.
Burials and cremations planned to take place today will be at the discretion of the families concerned and their funeral directors - if they do take place, take extra care on side routes and paths.
No Public Transport is running across Rhondda Cynon Taf, residents are advised to contact the relevant companies directly for further information on how the weather is affecting services - Traveline Cymru, Arriva Trains Wales, Stagecoach
Streetcare officers are continuing to work throughout the County Borough, delivering regular treatment of the roads network, constantly patrolling and monitoring and undertaking additional treatments where needed and, importantly, responding to community concerns and needs and changing weather conditions.
The latest information available on the predicted weather is also being used to continue to make critical decisions around issues such as school closures, road closures, home to school transport and the delivery of frontline service.
The key focus of all decisions is on protecting communities, especially the elderly and the vulnerable and working confidently and robustly to maintain, where possible, services as usual.
Councillor Andrew Morgan, Cabinet Member for Frontline Services said:
"There has been a significant amount of snowfall over night and blizzard conditions throughout the Valleys with a RED met office warning in place.
"Residents are therefore urged not to travel during the worst of the weather today and if possible to remain indoors.
"Abandoned cars and inconsiderate parking on main roads is already hampering snow ploughs and I would ask drivers who have to leave their cars to consider carefully where they are left.
"Despite significant gritting throughout the night and continued use of our snow ploughs disruption is being reported right across the County Borough and the wider South Wales Valleys area.
"All Cleansing, Parks and Refuse teams are being deployed to assist Highways Staff in snow clearance of town centres, medical facilities, nursing homes, day centres etc.
"All gritting vehicles and snow ploughs are being deployed to salt main routes through the county to try and keep these open before attempting any lesser routes.
"Residents can be assured all available Council resources are being deployed to assist the Councils Highways Teams over the next few days and we have also appealed for farmers with front loader's and ploughs who maybe able to assist to contact the Council."
"However, with more snowfall forecast followed by continued cold weather and the ongoing risk of further snow, residents are urged to take reasonable precautions and take heed of the warnings issued and avoid all but the most essential travel during Friday 18th Jan."
Those who have elderly friends, family members and neighbours are urged to check on them to ensure they are safe and to visit this website for the latest updates, including weather conditions, road closures, school closures and other useful information.
Find out the latest information, including school closures and the road situation, which includes a map of the essential road network on this website, follow us on twitter @rctcouncil or if you are experiencing and emergency call 425011.
Having fun in the snow? Dont forget to email us your snow pictures firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @rctcouncil.
View pictures from residents making the most of the impromptu snow day