A Burnley family endured a nightmare journey home from Nottingham as they found themselves in the icy grip of the ‘Beast from the East’ for a tumultuous 15 hours.
Admin officer Kathryn Clough, her partner Steve Box and her son Daniel (22) were caught in the chaos of the M62 on Thursday as they attempted to get back home to Burnley in some of the worst weather the country has seen for decades.
An exhausted Kathryn, who works for Belvoir Lettings in Burnley, told the Express how the trio set off at 2-50pm and did not arrive home until 5-30am the next day.
She said: “The journey was an absolute nightmare but we are just glad to be home in one piece safe and sound.
“The M1 was fine but on the way north we heard there had been an accident on the M62 so we came off at Bradford. We then lots of different ways to get out of Bradford.
“The roads were clear until we got to any kind of height and then the winds were blowing the snow off the hills causing blockages.”
Steve, who works at Piolax in Altham, then decided to get back on the M62 but became stuck on there at 6pm.
They were eventually allowed to get off the motorway at 2-30 after an agonising wait, which saw their car buffeted by the strong winds whipped up by the incoming Storm Emma.
It was then the couple decided to head back to East Lancashire on the country roads through Halifax, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden they had been keen to avoid in the first place.
Kathryn added: “We thought the country roads would be worse than the motorway because they are always hit badly by the snow, but they were clear and there was no traffic thankfully.
“My nephew, who is a police officer, had messaged me while we were stuck on the M62 to say they had closed it because of 92mph winds.
“It was just soul-destroying because there didn’t seem to be any way out. What made things worse was that people had been driving up the hard shoulder which then ended up blocking it to the recovery and emergency vehicles.
“We were all shattered and a bit agitated, but thankfully we had prepared well and had plenty of petrol, drinks and warm clothes.
“It was a frustrating experience but thankfully no-one was hurt. We went straight to bed when we got in.”