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Saturday 20 January 2018

Motorists warned more snow and floods on the way

Jason O'Brien and Ralph Riegel

COMMUTERS have been warned they have to endure further treacherous conditions today.

Another day of poor weather conditions caused yet more traffic disruption around the country yesterday, and the wintry weather is set to reassert itself today with subzero temperatures forecast in some areas, and snow in Ulster.

Elsewhere, where the temperatures are higher, parts of Ireland have been placed on flood alert as snow melts on higher ground -- with dramatically increased water levels now expected.

"We're not out of the woods yet, although lots of the country will be dry in the coming days," Met Eireann meteorologist Vincent O'Shea said.

"Snow will largely be confined to northern areas but there will be sharp frost in other places, with temperatures falling as low as minus five.

"And where there is snow lying or surface water, that could also lead to treacherous driving conditions, even though these areas have seen the last of the snow blizzards."


Heavy snow resulted in dangerous driving conditions in parts of Wicklow, the Midlands, Cork and Clare yesterday, while commuters also had to contend with surface water problems.

In Dublin, a number of roads around the Phoenix Park and Dun Laoghaire were closed for a time due to flooding. In Cork, flood waters on secondary roads prompted local TD Sean Sherlock to demand immediate action by local authorities.

The Blackwater, Lee, Funcheon and Suir river valleys in Cork, Kerry and Tipperary have already been the focus of flooding following torrential rainfall last week, with hundreds of acres of farmland still under flood water, and there are fears that melting snow could exacerbate the problem.

"There was a time when roads in rural areas were maintained on an ongoing basis by small crews that would go from one area the next, making sure that drains were not clogged, removing the water from the surface and ensuring that roads were passable," Mr Sherlock said.

AA Roadwatch warned drivers that flooding could mask potholes, and that they should immediately test their brakes after emerging from floods.

In Wicklow, the heavy snowfalls left a number of homes in Rathdown and Glendalough without power until yesterday afternoon. An ESB spokesman said the power cut was caused by problems with the overhead network.

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