How Cardiff battled the beast from the east and Storm Emma

In the face of freezing wind and rain, blizzards and drifting snow, Cardiff Council staff worked around the clock in response to the severe weather conditions, keeping people safe and enabling the emergency services to function. 

Such was the severity of the conditions to hit Cardiff, the Met Office issued a Red Warning, meaning that there was a significant risk to public safety. This is the first time that a Red Warning has been issued for Cardiff and south east Wales. In spite of that, staff battled the elements to get to work to deliver services for the people of Cardiff. 

Since Wednesday night gritting crews treated the entire strategic network 13 times, covering 5460kms - that's further than driving from the east coast to the west coast of Australia. We used 650 tonnes of salt, the equivalent weight of around 52 double decker buses. 

Meals on Wheels delivered 335 hot meals on Thursday and Friday. From Thursday to Sunday, our Telecare service handled 8267 calls in total and 390 emergency repairs were carried out for our most vulnerable tenants. One Telecare operator left her home in Llanrumney at 5am and walked to Willcox House in Cardiff Bay in time for her 6.30am shift to start. C2C handled 1790 calls on Thursday alone. 

The Council's home carers made 556 visits to 141 people between Thursday and Sunday. The majority of visits were done on foot (two carers walked seven miles in one shift), demonstrating huge commitment in the most difficult of conditions. 

Our outreach teams went out in all-weathers to encourage rough sleepers to come in out of the cold. Our hostels accommodated 81 homeless people on Friday night, significantly more than normal, and the figure remained at around 70 people a night over the weekend. 

Internal Supported Living ensured that the 25 adults with learning disabilities in our care, in 11 schemes across the city, received support and supervision around the clock. Staff stayed on in work over their allocated hours, and many walked miles to get to work and ensure those in our care continued to be looked after. 

The Communications and Media team fielded over 2,500 messages on social media and sent out posts which generated more than 25,000 click throughs to online updates, advice and information. 

The Wales Interpretation and Translation Service handled 255 calls from Thursday to Sunday, and staff worked around the clock to maintain the 24/7 service. 

Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, said: "Over the past few days we have seen so many council services and teams pull together under exceptional circumstances to deliver for the people of Cardiff. 

"Many have been working around the clock, battling very difficult conditions to make sure roads were cleared, meals on wheels were delivered, elderly people and looked after children were safe and cared for. 

"I've had some great reports of staff going the extra mile to make sure we've been able to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in the city, including our outreach team helping rough sleepers. I could go on and on and I'm fearful of who I might leave out, so I want to thank every single member of staff who pulled out all the stops during this severe weather warning."