Wednesday 16 October 2019

Heavy snow takes people by surprise in west Wicklow

A car stuck in the Sally Gap
A car stuck in the Sally Gap

Myles Buchanan

West Wicklow bore the brunt of Sunday's heavy snowfall with most people taken by surprise by the sudden downfall which lasted a number of hours.

The Sally Gap was deemed impassable and was closed off to traffic with signs put in place at all four roads leading to it.

Motorists were also advised to avoid the Wicklow Gap due to treacherous driving conditions.

An electricity power outage in the Baltinglass area affected close to 2,000 homes.

The fault occurred at 6.45 p.m. and power was restored later that night at 10.30 p.m.

Cllr Tommy Cullen said adequate weather warnings weren't provided prior to the start of the snow.

'Everyone was shocked at the severity of the snow. It certainly didn't match anything the weather forecast was predicting and it ended up taking people by complete surprise. Things started to get bad in Baltinglass at around 4 p.m. and the snow lasted for around two to three hours.

'Council staff were out early on Monday gritting the N81 so it was safe for people to travel to work. Fortunately the snowfall didn't last too long and it didn't take long for it to clear up on Monday,' said Cllr Cullen.

Rathdangan Drama Group had to cancel Sunday night's performance of 'Try Anything Twice' at short notice after a power cut, forcing the cast and crew to make their way home in the dark.

A show now takes place on Friday, March 8, to make up for the cancellation.

A number of local schools also remained closed on Monday as a cautionary measure but were open again on Tuesday.

Cllr Gerry O'Neill said a lot of people were caught out by how quickly the weather turned.

'I think the weather caught everyone on the hop. I was surprise by how much snow was falling and there was a bit of panic at one stage.

People were travelling home from different events when the snow began. It looked like the snow was going to cause considerable problems but thankfully it began to back off after a few hours.'

Wicklow People