Update at 4.15pm: Wivenhoe residents have reported Colchester Road has reopened and snow ploughs have managed to tackle what was there.

SNOW drifts and winds reaching speeds of 22mph are proving a nightmare in rural and coastal areas of north Essex.

The 'Beast from the East' is adding to the treacherous weather conditions residents have faced for the past week with heavy snow still coming down in parts of the county.


The yellow weather warning had been relaxed for Colchester today, as of yesterday afternoon, but is now back on until Saturday.

The Met Office has said to expect further snow showers today and very low temperatures reaching -2C at best.

READ MORE: What to expect from today's weather

Experts have also warned of travel delays, stranded vehicles, and possible power cuts.

Looking ahead to tonight, Essex Weather Centre has said it will be "very cold and windy with snow easing away through the evening" but that there will also be "widespread severe frost and ice".

On Mersea, residents are stuck and Colchester Road, in Wivenhoe, is totally blocked by snow drifts and a stranded lorry between Elmstead Road and Boundary Road.

Councillors urged Essex County Council's Highways department to send emergency teams to Wivenhoe which had been deteriorating since the morning.

Drivers were continuing up the road because there was no traffic sign telling them otherwise.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Picture: Wivenhoe Forum

Just before 3pm this afternoon, Shaun Boughton, former deputy mayor of Wivenhoe, said: "After spending all day on the road, the lorry is out.

"I managed to get a police line tape and have closed the road outside The Flag pub to save people driving into the unknown.

"But Elmstead Road is getting bad now so the fear is we'll get cut off."

A spokesman for Essex County Council's Highways Team said roads across the county were re-gritted from 1pm.

He said: "We're out in Tendring with gritters and snow ploughs and in those flat coastal areas where drifting snow is causing problems.

"The team is also responding to police requests."

For a live salting map, click here and follow the Essex Highways Twitter page @Essex_Travel.

Great Bentley is also completely cut off because of issues at Frating.

We understand police have closed the road in from Frating as well as Heckfords Road and there are abandoned cars on some roads.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Twitter picture from Frating going towards Brightlingsea @irispuce 

Great Bentley Surgery is telling patients not to call in and has "skeleton staff" in.

Practice manager Richard Miller wrote: "We are attempting to get permission to close early from the CCG for the safety of staff and patients."

Several First Essex services are not running including the 70, 71, 75 and 88 with limited services to Essex University.

Essex University was open for lessons despite the poor conditions surrounding it.

Here is what Hedingham has to say about buses today...

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Picture: Tracy Broomfield

Greater Anglia is running a full service today from Colchester North station but has suspended services from Harwich to Manningtree Town and from Thorpe-le-Soken to Clacton.

But the team is helping commuters as much as possible...