Friday 19 January 2018

Cold spell leaves 25,000 without power

Shane Hickey

IT'S going to be a cloudy, wet and windy Easter around the country.

An unexpected spate of bad weather has resulted in people having to be dug from cars stuck in snow, households losing power and chilly temperatures around the country.

Temperatures are currently well below what can normally be expected for April due to what Met Eireann describes as a period of "unsettled" conditions which will continue until early next week.

The cold and snow experienced around the Border and through the Midlands resulted in 25,000 households being without power for a substantial part of yesterday as ESB crews battled to get people connected again.

Meanwhile, cars had to be dug from heavy snow in Derry as winter returned in force with heavy rain and gale force winds.

While temperatures are moving away from the Arctic conditions earlier this week, they are unlikely to get warmer than between seven and 10 degrees tomorrow and Saturday. "There will still be a cold-ish, chilly feel at times and maybe the odd night, but the weather generally is changeable and unsettled and some poor-ish wet weather [is expected] at times and heavy-ish rain in places also," Michael McAuliffe from Met Eireann said. "There will be a lot of variation day to day."

It is expected there will be some respite in the first few days of next week when temperatures are set to reach double figures, more in line with what can be expected in an average April.

Met Eireann also says the threat of further snowstorms has moved away, although this will be little comfort to those who had to be dug out of their cars in Derry yesterday.

PSNI officers took part in rescues of about 300 people who were stranded in their vehicles on the Glenshane Pass due to the snowy conditions.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the ESB said emergency crews were concentrating on the affected areas of Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan, yesterday as well as around Portlaoise, Abbeyleix, Mountmellick, Athy and Stradbally. By early evening, there were still 10,000 houses without electricity.

"There was very heavy snow in the Cavan area which inhibits accessibility in terms of locating the faults and getting them repaired," the spokesperson said.

Irish Independent

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