Thursday 19 April 2018

The apocalypse is nigh - 7 things that will inevitably happen when Storm Emma hits Ireland

Bread has been cleared from the shelves at SuperValu in Carrigaline
Bread has been cleared from the shelves at SuperValu in Carrigaline
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

We have notoriously short memories when it comes to the weather here in Ireland. Granted, it has been eight years since we've endured a genuine cold snap, but you can be sure we learned nothing from that experience.

Here are a few things that will inevitably happen in the coming days...

Mass hysteria

Fear of the unknown causes the anxiety to rise.  All those unanswered questions... Will the schools close?  Will I need to take time off work?  How bad will the roads be?  Is our car rear wheel drive?  Should we buy those claw things for the wheels?  What if the pipes burst?  Where are the candles?  Do we have enough heating oil to survive the week?  Is Netflix paid up?  Are we stocked up on bread, milk, wine? 

 

Bread shortages

Nary a snowflake to be seen and the supermarkets have already been cleaned out.  The shelves are not just empty of bread but milk and meat too.  Because perishables are exactly what you need in a crisis aren't they?  Before Ophelia hit last year Irish retailers in some areas saw a spike in sales likened to a 'mini Christmas' and it looks like they're raking it in again ahead of the Beast from the East.

 

 

Burst pipes

Did you remember to leave the tap dripping a teeny tiny bit to prevent burst pipes?  No, you didn't, and now you're frantic and you're kicking yourself as the plumber informs you he won't be free to pop out this side of Christmas.

 

Broken bones

That blanket of snow sure is lovely to look at but when it's been around for a few days, and becomes compacted, it's lethal.  Even a teeny tiny solitary patch of ice can leave you crumpled in a sorry heap of shame and pain, but when the ice is widespread things get really dangerous.  During the big freeze of January 2010 staff at the Mater Hospital in Dublin feared they would run out of plaster of Paris after they saw a four fold increase in the number of broken bones.  Broken wrists, ankles and coccyx bones (ouch!) were the most common fractures as people slipped on the ice that covered every inch of every road and footpath in the country for days on end.  The lad who featured on RTE Six One news went viral because he was all of us that January...

One woman battled back with her own bottle of Saxa in Dublin's city centre.  There's a lesson for all of us here.

http://migration-ece4.independent.ie:8085/migrator/ws/publication/independentDublin/resource/binary/755510
A woman fights the icy footpaths with salt in central Dublin

 

You'll forget about de-icing your windscreen...

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Stock image
 

...until you're already ten minutes late for work and are sitting in the car with your frostbitten fingers clutching the steering wheel and the heater on full blast (even though it's freezing) and the wipers scratching frantically and fruitlessly across an inch of ice.

Sigh.

Ditto for adding de-icer to your windscreen washer.  This is all before you've even left your driveway...

 

Commuting hell

Every day is commuting hell lately in Dublin with the new LUAS line causing havoc around College Green.  Add snow and ice to the mix and the city is likely to come to a standstill - whether the buses and LUAS are running or not.  Snow can also cause problems for the DART and forget about attempting to drive, unless you're prepared to sit in traffic for eight hours, the final hour of which you're praying your petrol tank isn't quite as empty as the light suggests, with the arse of your car doing its own independent thing, and suddenly finding yourself sliding back down that M50 exit ramp.  If you happen to live in an area where snow ploughs and salt fail to work their magic, good luck. 

Just stay at home lads.

 

Salt shortages

Lets hope the local authorities have longer memories than the rest of us and have stocked up on salt supplies.  Back in 2010 when the country was gripped by icy weather many supplies dwindled and there were fears we would run out completely, roads would close, and the country would come to an eerie standstil. 

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A snow plough grits the road near Glenveagh National Park, Co Donegal

Good luck out there!

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