Friday 14 December 2018

Storm Emma explainer: Everything you need to know before Saturday morning

Wondering what lies ahead for the weekend? Amy Molloy has compiled the latest you need to know

Therese Eagers digs a pathway through the snow in her back garden in Rathcoole. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
Therese Eagers digs a pathway through the snow in her back garden in Rathcoole. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
Sallins Friday morning (Picture: James Lawless)
Donadea Co Kildare (Picture: David Irwan)
Sallins (Picture: James Lawless)
James and Gemma Kavanagh practice their snow angels on Main street, Arklow, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Garry O'Neill
Snow drifts on the Fagan Farm in Gartlandstown, Co Westmeath. Photo: John Fagan
Rathcoole on Friday morning Picture: Eileen Mooney
Sallins Friday morning (picture: James Lawless)
Very heavy snow in Kilmuckridge Co.Wexford. Photo: Derek Vaughan
Photos of snow drift on roads Kildare this morning Photo: Niall Sargent
Walkers in the snow on the Curragh in Co Kildare: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Blessington in Co Wicklow. Photo: Teresa Nagle
Blessington in Co Wicklow. Photo: Teresa Nagle
Wexford main street. Photo: Joey Cleary
Snowed in road in Donadea Co. Kildare. Photo: Gillian Flynn
Footpaths are cleared in Kildare Town, Co Kildare: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

The blizzard may have passed but heavy snowfall, power outages and travel disruptions continue.

Here is everything you need to know before Saturday morning:

What weather warnings are still in place?

Met Eireann has extended the ongoing Status Red warning for Dublin, Kildare, Wexford, Wicklow and Meath until 9am tomorrow morning.

Status Orange snow-ice warning for Munster, Carlow, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Offaly, Westmeath, Cavan, Monaghan and Galway until 9am tomorrow

Status Yellow snow-ice warning for Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo and Roscommon until 9am tomorrow.

What was said at tonight's National Emergency Coordination Group meeting?

There could be a "serious threat to life" in Wexford as the South East will bear the worst of the impact of today's snow and ice, according to the group.

It could be two weeks before hospitals are back to normal. There is expected to be a surge in patients once the snow clears. Those with fractures are advised to attend injury clinics instead of Emergency Departments

The ESB expects more power outages in the South East tonight.

High-tide warning remains in place until Monday.

The M50 is proving particularly difficult to clear of snow - all drivers are being urged to avoid it.

Will it be safe to drive tomorrow?

An Garda Siochana is advising people to avoid making unnecessary journeys.

A "conveyor belt" of snow and sleet will continue to batter the east of the country tonight, leading to fresh calls for people to avoid travel.

What are the latest travel updates?

Aer Lingus has cancelled more than 50 flights from Dublin Airport for Saturday. The airline is advising all passengers to check the status of their individual flights tomorrow before travelling to the airport.

Ryanair said it has had to cancel a number of flights to and from Dublin Airport for tomorrow. Ryanair said all customers have been notified and should avoid travelling to the airport up until 11am tomorrow morning.

Dublin Bus says it is monitoring routes but expects to resume services tomorrow, though disruption is expected to some routes and diversions may be in place.

Bus Eireann has said it may operate some of its Expressway services tomorrow. They have advised customers to check their website for updates.

What next?

Met Éireann has warned that flooding is likely once the snow begins to thaw.

A high-tide warning remains in place for Cork until Monday and eastern coastal areas.

The public has been urged to avoid rivers and coastal areas in the coming days.

Are schools going to reopen on Monday?

All schools may not be able to re-open on Monday because of the ongoing disruption caused by weather.

Rural schools in the regions worst hit by the extreme weather events are most at risk of a delayed return.

Séamus Mulconry, general secretary of the Catholic Primary School Management Association (CPSMA), which represents 90pc of the country’s 3,200 primary schools, said: "I don’t think we will really know until Sunday what the outlook is for Monday and whether a principal can make an informed call."

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