Wednesday 19 December 2018

Community spirit was key

Heroic acts abounded when needed most

Hubert Murphy

County councils in Louth and Meath, members of the emergency services and big hearted farmers - with even bigger tractors - are being hailed as the heroes of last week's 'once in a generation' snow event that gripped the region and large parts of the country.

Many stories of neighbourly support have abounded since the snows began to melt, ending a testing few days, especially for those in key areas, such as Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and home carers.

One of the most dramatic incidents involved the local fire service who were called out early on Friday to dig ambulances out of the snow near Ardee.

Drogheda Coastguard were busy throughout the period and their first call out was for their 4x4 to deliver supplies to a family who's fresh running water was broken and were snowed into their home.

Fresh drinking water and other essentials were supplied by Drogheda Fire service, and delivered to the family by the Drogheda Coast Guard land unit.

Louth County Council, the HSE and An Garda Síochána under the Major Emergency Management structure kicked into action as the initial snows arrived on Wednesday.

As conditions worsened on Tuesday, the council applied 180 tonnes of salt/grit in 24 hours, an aggregate total of 1,632km of roads treated, involving 4 gritting vehicles and 6 ploughing vehicles

Gritting Crews operated during Wednesday night and used a total of 220 tonne or rock salt gritting an aggregate of 1,780 kilometres of National, Regional and town centre roads. Outdoor teams re-commenced the clearing of footpaths in Dundalk Drogheda and Ardee on Thursday.

The Red warning prevented them from working on Thursday night into Friday but they were back on the streets by 8.30am on Friday.

One of the biggest issues the council workers came across when trying to clear roads on Friday were abandoned vehicles.

Drogheda Independent