| 12.2°C Dublin

Water rationed as the big thaw arrives at last

MOTORISTS and pedestrians were warned today to be extremely careful following overnight temperatures of -9C.

Most of the main roads were passable but gardai have asked the public to avoid any unnecessary journeys.

Footpaths remained very slippery in many places as little thawing occurred last night.

It comes as Dubliners experienced their second night of water rationing aimed at allowing local authorities to replenish depleted stocks.



Bursting

Dublin City Council revealed there has been an increase in demand of 20 million litres a day during the freezing weather.

Many householders were still leaving taps running throughout the night to prevent pipes bursting.

Supplies were turned on again across Dublin city and county at 7am today, having been restricted from 7pm last night.The city council is to review the situation to decide if further restrictions are necessary.

The city council said today "a huge increase in demand for water in the past week" led to all areas having "their supply restricted".

It appealed to consumers in the Dublin region "to reduce their water consumption and in particular, people are asked not to leave taps running".

"Customers should note that it will take time for the water to make its way through the pipe network while the system 'recharges'.

"There is no need for people to fill baths or store large quantities of water -- water tanks in every home or business will have sufficient quantity to cover the amount of water needed when water will be restricted," the local authority said.

A list of affected areas can be found at dublincity.ie.

Some zones experienced no disruption, including householders on the Ballyboden water system which covers areas like Rathmines, Ranelagh and Clonskeagh.

Ballyfermot and Bluebell also escaped without any shut-offs.

However, the Blackhorse Bridge System, covering Cabra, Phibsboro, Stoneybatter and other areas, had pressure reductions and water loss. Homes in Ballsbridge, Irishtown, Sandymount and Merrion Road had their water cut off.

Meanwhile, drivers made their way into work this morning on extremely icy surfaces in places.

Dublin Airport was open, while buses, trains and the Luas were all running, though with some delays.

Connolly Station's Luas stop remained closed today.



dangerous

Balfe Road in Dublin was closed at the junction with Drimnagh Road due to icy and dangerous road conditions.

The M4 between Mullingar and Longford, the N2 in Meath and Monaghan and the M9 in Laois and Carlow were very icy.

While a thaw will set in today and continue over the weekend, freezing conditions are forecast to return.

Daytime temperatures will remain reasonably high next week, up to 7C, but the levels will drop dramatically at night, leading to widespread frost.

Among the Dublin Bus services affected this morning were the No 3, which was unable to serve Sandymount Village, St John's Church, Sydney Parade or Belfield, and the No 5.

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