Friday 20 April 2018

Storm Emma: Serious fears of 'threat to life' as 7ft snow drifts hit south east

02/03/2018. Snow at Wexford. Pictured at Kilbraney, Co. Wexford with David Barron who is finding the going tough through the drifts of snow. Picture: Patrick Browne
02/03/2018. Snow at Wexford. Pictured at Kilbraney, Co. Wexford with David Barron who is finding the going tough through the drifts of snow. Picture: Patrick Browne
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Serious fears have emerged about a threat to life in the south east of the country tonight amid 7ft snow drifts.

It's understood an intense period of snow along the south east coast, particularly around Wexford, is causing major concerns.

The National Emergency Coordination Group is due to issue a fresh weather briefing shortly but sources say conditions are getting worse rather than better.

"It's a possibility that people in the south east will be asked to stay indoors again," said a source.

This afternoon the ongoing Status Red warning has been extended until tomorrow morning, Met Éireann have confirmed.

The warning applies to Dublin, Kildare, Wexford, Wicklow and Meath and will remain in place until 9am, Saturday morning.

More snow scenes in Wexford
More snow scenes in Wexford

It reads ;"Snow accumulations continuing to increase significantly due to further heavy falls of snow."

Speaking on RTE News earlier, forecaster Gerry Murphy said; "The storm happened as it was forecast, but perhaps some people got the impression it was all going to happen overnight, but it happened overnight and today, and it is continuing to happen."

Meanwhile, forecasters have issued a Status Orange alert to Munster, Carlow, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Offaly, Westmeath, Cavan, Monaghan and Galway.

The alert remains in place from 4pm on Friday until 9am, Saturday.

It reads; "Snow accumulations continuing to increase due to further falls of snow."

Speaking this afternoon, Mr Murphy said the snow could turn into rain and sleet in the south later tonight. He added that the warnings may be updated again later tonight.

"The red warning is still in operation tonight. The snow will be most substantial in the eastern counties," he said.

"In terms of the orange counties, there are further accumulations of snow expected, we haven't specifically said, it will just be lesser than the east coast, it's not quite red. Later on in the south, the snow may even turn into rain.

"There will be lesser amounts of snow then in Roscommon, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal, in the form of just snow showers.

"Tonight, the whole scenario of snow is continuing overnight. The warning may be updated during the night again," he continued.

"This is our best assessment at the moment. Towards the end of the night, the southern counties' snow may turn into rain and sleet at this stage. It's a reflection that the heavier precipitation is along the east coast.

"The warnings we issue will have an impact on the decision-making at Transport Infrastructure Ireland and in the local authorities.

"It will have knock-on effects in terms of the decisions made."

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