Kerry wakes up to a blanket of snow

Kerry grinds to a halt as Emma and Beast from the East bring the county to an icy standstill

Sheep Farmer Davy Leane, MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, had brought his ewes to lower ground ahead of Storm Emma. Photo by Valerie O’Sullivan
Sheep Farmer Davy Leane, MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, had brought his ewes to lower ground ahead of Storm Emma. Photo by Valerie O’Sullivan

Stephen Fernane

The county awoke to a winter wonderland on Friday that left people pinching themselves to see if it really was the month of March. The early spring daffodils, usually the first responders to severe winters, were the first to bear the brunt of a freak cold snap that put spring on ice for 72 hours.

From Thursday afternoon people heeded Met Eireann's Status Red warning as shares in bread and milk went through the roof. Queues of people from Killarney to Killorglin and Tralee to Dingle stocked up on essentials like never before with not a crust left by teatime.

Temperatures took a severe nose dive when a breeze capable of cutting marble blew all before it from the east on Thursday. Valentia Observatory recorded -5 degrees Celsius on the day which rose slightly to -1 Celsius as snow fell shortly after dark.

From first light snowmen in sizes small, medium and large sprung up in driveways and gardens everywhere with even the odd snowball quarrel breaking out among children and adults who made the most of a rare weather event.

But in the background everyone was full of praise for the nurses, doctors, guards and council workers who in true Blitz spirit kept the show on the road, while farmers rolled out bales of silage to their livestock.

The snow is also being credited with bringing people together as cars were ditched in favour of a walk in the snow with neighbours meeting and chatting in a warm climate of friendship brought on by snow.

By Saturday afternoon though people wished for a thaw and on the seventh-day temperatures hit a balmy 5 degrees that kick-started a thaw. By Monday morning it was back to normal again and back to spring as only lopsided snowmen did their best to hang on.

Kerryman

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