News Storm Emma

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Taoiseach urges people to stay off roads as severe weather warnings remain in place

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar Picture Credit:Frank Mc Grath
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar Picture Credit:Frank Mc Grath
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said people should continue to stay off roads and only travel to work if they are working for an essential service.

Mr Varadkar said severe weather warnings were remaining in place because he didn’t want to “lull people into false sense of security”. He said people should stay away from rivers and coastal areas especially before and after high-tides.

The Taoiseach was speaking following today’s first meeting of the National Emergency Coordinating Group (NECG).

He said flooding is expected to follow the extreme weather of the last week which brought about by a combination of heavy snow fall from the Beast from the East and strong winds from Storm Emma.

Schools will reopen on Monday on case-by-case basis and the decision to open or not will rest with principals.

Around 20,000 homes are still without electricity which is down from a peak of 30,000 yesterday.  There were also 10,000 homes without water and 16,000 homes were issued boiled water notices. However, 13,000 of these boil water notices were in place before the storm. Catherine Walsh from Irish Water urged people to conserve water as heavy usage was likely to impact on the system. Ms Walsh confirmed the heave usage was caused by people running their taps to stop their pipes from freezing.

Junior Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe deployed 745 troops and 300 vehicles to assist emergency services in recent days. This included army vehicles acting as ambulances in the worst hit areas.

Local authorities worked with food wholesalers to deliver more than €2m worth of food which would have perished had it remained in depots.

NECG chair Sean Hogan said the snowfall of the last two days had “not been seen for a generation”. Mr Hogan said the depth of snow in some parts of the country was up to 8ft.

He said people should watch out for snow falling from rooftops and gutters collapsing from the snowfall.

Met Eireann’s Evelyn O’Rourke said temperatures over the coming downs will rise to around 7C. Ms O’Rourke said cloudy condition and relatively low temperatures will not result in a dramatic thaw.

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