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Snow, ice and 'freezing wind chill' follow chaos of Storm Ciara as nation is hit by 130kmh gusts

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A car under a tree in Ennis. Photo: Eamon Ward

A car under a tree in Ennis. Photo: Eamon Ward

A car under a tree in Ennis. Photo: Eamon Ward

Householders and commuters were warned to brace themselves for Arctic conditions with snow, sleet and freezing temperatures following in the wake of Storm Ciara.

A Status Yellow snow/ice warning is in place for the entire country today and tomorrow with widespread wintry showers and 3cm of snow falling in some areas.

Meanwhile, a Status Orange wind warning has been issued for Atlantic coastal counties until 8pm tonight with gusts of up to 130kmh. The warning covers counties Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Clare and Kerry.

Met Éireann warned that a combination of spring tides and high seas will result in a significant risk of coastal flooding.

Temperatures today will be around 3C to 6C, but Met Éireann forecaster Matthew Martin warned a significant wind chill will make it feel more like 0C.

"There will be some snow accumulating, primarily in high ground, but other areas could see some snow too," he told the Irish Independent.

"While snow showers may develop anywhere they will occur chiefly in parts of the west and north, with some accumulations possible.

"Some areas can expect probably around 3cm of snow, but we haven't put a number on that yet. The most prominent thing is the wind-chill factor that will make it feel very cold. It will actually be around 3C to 6C, but the wind chill will make it feel more like freezing."

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Thrill: People watching the large waves at Arklow’s North Beach, Co Wicklow. Photo: Garry O'Neill

Thrill: People watching the large waves at Arklow’s North Beach, Co Wicklow. Photo: Garry O'Neill

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Firefighters treat a patient hit by a falling tree in Crumlin

Firefighters treat a patient hit by a falling tree in Crumlin

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A tree on the Killarney to Castlemaine road. Photo: Don MacMonagle

A tree on the Killarney to Castlemaine road. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Motorists were advised by gardaí and the Road Safety Authority to exercise caution as driving conditions, particularly during the morning commute, will be challenging in some areas.

The icy snap follows hard on the heels of Storm Ciara as winds of 130kmh caused chaos in coastal areas and parts of the south and west.

In Dublin, a pedestrian was hit by a falling tree in Crumlin at the height of the storm. Luckily, their injuries were not life threatening.

It was one of multiple calls attended by Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) during a hectic 24 hours.

DFB also attended a number of properties in the north inner city where basements flooded from the sheer volume of rainwater dumped by Storm Ciara.

Almost 15,000 homes were without power with the worst hit areas being Clare, Kerry, Galway and Waterford as the storm knocked trees and brought down power lines.

Worst hit by the power cuts were coastal parts of Kerry, Ennis in Clare, Tramore in Waterford and Gort in Galway.

A number of lightning strikes were also reported in Cork though the county escaped the worst of the power disruption. The ESB hoped to have everyone reconnected by this morning.

Storm Ciara also played havoc with sporting and cultural events, with Galway's Capital of Culture opening celebration cancelled.

A Status Orange wind warning from Met Éireann remained in place until lunchtime yesterday, with driving conditions in some areas described as extremely hazardous.

In some exposed coastal areas, gardaí urged motorists only to undertake essential journeys.

A number of high-span bridges have been closed amid safety fears, including the recently opened Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge which is part of the New Ross by-pass. It is Ireland's highest and longest bridge.

The Blackwater bridge on the Dublin-Cork motorway outside Fermoy also witnessed dangerous cross-winds.

Flooding

However, greatest concern was focused on the threat posed by flooding.

Heavy rainfall resulted in spot flooding on roads in Roscommon, Waterford, Mayo, Kerry, Cork, Limerick, Dublin, Kildare and Sligo. A number of roads were temporarily closed as a result. Roads were also closed due to fallen trees with council staff nationwide clearing them.

The combination of high tides and wind direction also posed a serious threat of flooding along some coastal areas, particularly in the west and south.

The powerful winds and stormy seas also saw the cancellation of ferry sailings from Rosslare and Dublin.

Irish Independent