Britain had already endured a week of frigid temperatures, with more below-freezing lows expected. A Level 3 cold weather alert is in place for much of England until Friday. The authorities have advised people to check in on vulnerable friends and family to ensure they have access to warm food and drinks and are able to heat their homes.
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Oliver Claydon, a spokesman for the Met Office, said seven centimeters, or 2.7 inches, of snow had been recorded in Essex, a county northeast of London, and four centimeters, or about an inch and a half, had been recorded in East Sussex in southeast England.
Sleet and snow would gradually ease in southeast England, Mr. Claydon said. “Tomorrow, the cold will continue, with frost and fog lingering in places,” he said, adding that the snow was expected to be most persistent across northern Scotland.
The extended cold streak has put extra stress on energy supplies. The National Grid, which operates Britain’s electricity system, warmed up two contingency coal plants to “give the public confidence in Monday’s energy supply,” it said in a statement. It canceled the start-up notices later on Monday.
About 40 people who had to abandon their cars because of the snow spent the night at a pub in the English village of Burwash, about 50 miles southeast of London. Pauline Wilson, the landlady of the Bear Inn, a pub and hotel, said she laid out mattresses and blankets on the floor.
About 15 people checked into the hotel rooms, including three women who had just met who shared a room. The other stranded people slept on chairs, the floor and in front of the fireplace. Two couples who had just met shared a duvet cover, she said.
In the morning, Ms. Wilson made tea and coffee for the guests and people had cookies.
“I’ve lived in this village all my life, and I’ve never seen anything like this in December,” she said.