Sussex is bracing itself for a cold snap with freezing temperatures and icy conditions forecast for this weekend.
The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for the county for tomorrow (January 12) and Sunday, January 13.
Outbreaks of rain, sleet and snow will gradually clear southwards on Saturday afternoon and evening.
This will be followed by a rapid drop in temperature to -2C in some areas and will struggle to rise above freezing on Sunday and Monday.
Officials warned it could feel as cold as -7C.
Councils are already preparing themselves for the weather and warning people to take extra care if the cold weather persists.
Hospitals have put staff on alert in case there is a surge in demand from people injured through slips and falls.
Older people are also at risk as the cold weather can trigger respiratory problems.
Brighton and Hove City Council’s fleet of gritters is on standby to deal with icy conditions on roads and pavements.
The highways team has seven gritting vehicles and one pavement gritter at its disposal to ensure major transport routes are kept salted and safe.
The winter service team will also be monitoring the situation.
The public are also being advised to wrap up warm and take care when out and about as heavy frost and rain can cause slippery patches on hilltops, side roads and shaded pavements.
Ian Davey, the council’s transport committee chairman, said: “We are well prepared for cold weather and the council’s aim is to keep the city moving wherever possible.
“Gritters are not able to treat every road and pavement but there are over 400 grit bins across the city for residents to use.”
A spokeswoman for NHS Sussex said: “Cold weather is serious and claims lives every year.
“To look after yourself and to stay healthy remember to have regular hot drinks and at least one hot meal, wear layers of warm clothes and keep as active as possible.
“We also all have a role to play in remembering the needs of friends, relatives and neighbours who could be at risk especially at this time of year.”
Help is available from NHS Direct 24 hours a day on 0845 4647.
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