Water rationing begins and postal services disrupted
Published 02/12/2010 | 05:00
ROAD conditions remained treacherous across the country last night with the Big Freeze expected to cause chaos for at least another week.
Hundreds of schools were forced to close, water rationing was introduced in some counties and upland homes were cut-off as roads remained impassable.
Local authorities have updated their websites showing what roads will be gritted over the coming days, but commuters are being urged to leave the car at home and use public transport where possible.
Dozens of bus services were cancelled as icy conditions forced traffic to a crawl, with major delays during the evening rush hour. Main roads from the capital including the M50, N11 and M3 were extremely dangerous and some roads in Lucan and Dundrum were closed.
Roads in Meath and Louth were extremely icy, while all routes into Slane, Laytown and Bettystown were impassable for much of the day.
There was widespread disruptions to postal services in Waterford and Wexford after fresh snowfalls made deliveries impossible. Up to 20,000 items could not be delivered.
Carlow and Waterford were among the worst-hit counties, with the centre of Tramore impassable for much of the day.
Upland areas in eastern and western parts of Cork were virtually cut-off due to snow and ice. Cobh, Douglas, Carrigaline and Rosscarbery were extremely dangerous, despite round-the-clock gritting. Defence Forces personnel helped transport patients and staff to Bantry General Hospital and Cork University Hospital.
Commuters and pedestrians enjoyed glorious sunshine throughout yesterday as the vast majority of Limerick, Clare and Tipperary continues to escape the inclement weather conditions.
Driving conditions remained hazardous with ice on back roads and some road closures.
The M4 motorway was icy at Ballinasloe. Up to 300 schools closed in Mayo, and dozens more in north Galway and Roscommon.
Water conservation notices were issued across east Donegal. The council said supplies from the Lough Mourne reservoir to towns including Lifford and Castlefin were restricted from 10 last night until 8am today. More snow fell across the county for much of yesterday, making dangerous road conditions even more treacherous.
Senior engineer Michael McGarvey said that salt was only being used for priority routes.
Fresh snowfall during the day led to the M7 between Borris-in-Ossory and Portlaoise, N4 Mullingar bypass and M6 Dublin to Galway motorway at Athlone becoming extremely dangerous.
Additional reporting by Conor Kane, Barry Duggan and Anita Guidera