Communities in Cumbria have been cut off by snow with thousands left without power for close to 48 hours.

Some homes have no water and community hubs have been set up to help those who have no power or heating.

READ MORE: Follow live updates on the weather here.

There are fears for vulnerable people, including the elderly, with nurses, medication and provisions being sent out to those in desperate need of help.

Cumbria Police say a "multi-agency" response is continuing after Storm Arwen brought strong winds and snow to the area; they are also asking people not to travel unless essential.

Temperatures also dropped to -6.4C in Shap overnight - and more cold weather, ice and frost are expected tonight which could cause futher issues.

Thousands without power - generators deployed

Up to 4,000 households in Cumbria may be without electricity tonight, but Electricity North West is working to restore power as soon as possible.

The main areas affected are Alston and Coniston and generators have been deployed to try and get people back on supply.

A Cumbria Police spokesperson said: "Electricity North West are working to restore power as soon as possible to those who remain without electricity. 67,000 of homes have now had power restored and many further homes will have power restored by early evening. However, due to the scale of the situation and continued hazardous conditions, up to 4,000 of households in Cumbria may be without electricity overnight.

"The main areas where properties will largely remain without power are Alston and Coniston with smaller isolated demographic areas across Cumbria.

"Generators have been deployed to areas of Alston and Coniston to bring power back to hundreds of homes."

Community hubs have been set up at Coniston Sports and Social Centre and at Ambleside Parish on Vicarage Road (closes 5pm).

The centres have access to power and heating and are open to anyone in the community affected by the weather.

Homes without water and nurses deployed

The police spokesperson added: "Some properties in the county are experiencing water supply issues. United Utilities are working to restore effected homes with water.

"Fleets of water supply vehicles have been deployed and where needed alternative arrangements such as bottled water are being arranged."

Police said that provisions and supplies are being priortised "to those deemed most vulnerable".

"The activity has seen nurses, medication and provisions being transported to those vulnerable persons and isolated rural communities," said police.

"Vulnerable persons without power or in isolated communities have been identified by the multiagency coordination group and are receiving proactive contact by agencies, including welfare checks."

'Check on and support the vulnerable'

A plea has also been issued to the public asking them to look after vulnerable neighbours.

Police said: "If you are aware of an individual who is vulnerable, please check on them and support them, make sure they have the right medication and provisions. If they do require medication or care, please contact their care provider as soon as you are able.

"If a vulnerable person is without power and you are concerned for their welfare, please contact Electricity North West on 105. Electricity North West have increased staffing to their call centre to support demand, however the 105 number is experiencing high volumes of calls and the public are thanked in advance for their patience and understanding."

'Only travel if essential'

Police are asking people only to travel if essential and to make sure they are well-equipped if making a journey.

"Motorists are asked to only travel if essential and to take appropriate provisions. Warm clothing, food, drink, charged phone and a full tank of fuel are among the recommendations," the police spokesperson said.

"Some petrol stations will continue to be impacted by the power outage and drivers are encouraged to be mindful this ahead of any journey."

All major roads in Cumbria are now open apart from the A595 Corney Fell to Duddon Bridge. However, many A, B, C and minor roads continue to be impacted by the snow and low temperatures.

Gritters have been deployed across Cumbria all weekend and will continue to grit the counties roads into tomorrow.

Police said: "Motorists who do need to travel are encouraged to stay at home and avoid unnecessary journeys. If you do need to travel, please continue to drive please drive with care and stick to main roads wherever possible."

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