Tuesday 14 August 2018

No normality for those still battling through the waist-deep snowdrifts

Billy Cardiff is watched by Duke the dog as he clears the road outside his home in Taghmon, Co Wexford. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Billy Cardiff is watched by Duke the dog as he clears the road outside his home in Taghmon, Co Wexford. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Ian Begley

There was no return to normality for many parts of Co Wexford yesterday as thousands of people struggled to deal with the aftermath of Storm Emma.

The county is bearing the brunt of water shortages, power outages, school closures and blocked roads.

Junior defence minister Paul Kehoe also warned of flooding in certain areas for people living between Bunclody and Enniscorthy as the snow melts in the mountains and flows down the River Slaney.

In the rural town of Taghmon, the county council and Defence Forces ploughed through ice and snow to clear the roads for people trying to return to their day-to-day lives. Meanwhile, trees had to be cut down in a woodland area to repair a burst water main, with repair crews also forced to trek through three feet of snow to access pipes.

Local resident Hazel Southam described the past few days as "absolutely crazy".

"The roads were just dire, with the snow rising above my waist. There was literally nothing you could do - we were closed in.

"I don't know what I would have done if it wasn't for our local shop in Taghmon being open.

"There were a couple of local girls who made the trek in the snow to open it and although there were only a few items left, they were literally life-savers.

"We had power outages on Thursday, but it could have been a whole lot worse if the community didn't come together to help each other out," she said.

A man shovelling snow outside his driveway told the Irish Independent he had never experienced anything like the 'Beast from the East'.

"I think it was certainly worse than 2010. I don't remember that snow storm having such a big impact.

"This is the first day I've been able to get out of my house and just as well because I'm running very low on food.

"It's looking like the council are doing a great job clearing up the roads and I'm looking forward to all this being over," he said.

Meanwhile, a devastated farmer told how he lost more than 10 cattle in the severe weather last week.

According to father-of-three Karol Winter, the destruction caused by the 'Beast from the East' sent his farm back to the 1950s.

"The weight of the snow on my sheds made them collapse.

"I'm really devastated because I lost about eight cows and 10 calves," he added.

Irish Independent

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