Tuesday 22 January 2019

New weather warning issued and some schools remain closed due to impassable road conditions

  • Some schools remain closed due to impassable roads
  • Families still trapped in homes in Wicklow and Kildare
  • Status yellow snow-ice warning in place for Leinster until 10am Wednesday
  • Heavy showers forecast for this afternoon
  • Ongoing potential for localised flooding with snow thaw
  • Frost and icy conditions will develop tonight
Children from Wearhead Primary School, in County Durham which remained open despite blizzards thanks to teachers battling through the elements and a parent with a digger (Durham County Council/PA)
Children from Wearhead Primary School, in County Durham which remained open despite blizzards thanks to teachers battling through the elements and a parent with a digger (Durham County Council/PA)
Children play in the snow in Sallins Railway Station, Co Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin.

Katherine Donnelly and Sasha Brady

Most schools around the country reopen today after a two or three-day shutdown caused by the severe weather – however impassable roads will force many to remain closed.

A status orange warning was lifted for Leinster today at 10am and road conditions are gradually improving.

A status yellow snow-ice warning was issued immediately after and will remain in place until 10am Wednesday morning.

Deep lying snow in places will continue to thaw but with the ongoing potential for localised flooding.

Met Eireann said that frost and ice conditions will develop overnight.

Road conditions are slushy in Wexford and snow drifts are causing slippery conditions on roads in Enniscorthy and Wexford Town areas.

25 roads in Wexford are still closed. The expectation is that all roads will be open this evening.

In Louth, the M1 is closed northbound between the J13 Dunleer North and J14 Ardee as emergency services deal with a vehicle on fire.

In Kildare it's extremely busy on the Sallins Road with delays tailing back to Clane.

Walls of snow still remain in Wicklow and Kildare where some families are still trapped in their home.

Niall Morrissey of Kildare County Council said "what's going on in Kildare needs to be seen to be believed".

He told RTE's Morning Ireland that some of the main roads have been gritted overnight but a lot of local roads need to be avoided.

It's a mostly damp start to the day, with AA Roadwatch reporting wet roads in Letterkenny and Longford Town.

Gardaí report foggy conditions around Cavan Town and the cities of Cork and Waterford, motorists are advised to use their fog lights in the affected areas and switch them off afterwards.

Continuing school closures are most likely in areas worst affected by the snow, such as Wexford, west Wicklow and other parts of the south-east, and north Kildare.

It was left to individual schools to make their own decisions based on local conditions, and any other issues that may affect their ability to open, such as a working heating system and water supply.

Schools in areas where it was feasible to open were checking their premises yesterday and consulting with school bus operators in order to make decisions about opening.

Bus Éireann, which operates school transport services for 116,000 pupils daily, said buses were back today, but they are dependent on road conditions.

According to Bus Éireann, many of the services operate in rural areas and on minor routes and, in certain parts of the country, these roads remain in a very poor condition or are impassable.

Bus Éireann said that given the ongoing Status Orange warning in some areas until 10am today, there was likely to be disruption, particularly in parts of the east, south and south-east.

The company said it was “making every effort to ensure as many school transport services as possible operate, where the school is open and it’s safe to do so.

“The safety of children and staff on board is the key deciding factor in the operation of any service.”

Third-level colleges are also open again today but Dublin City University delayed the start of lectures until noon, while Maynooth University advised that most teaching is expected to go ahead as scheduled, with a waiver of penalties  for non-attendance and a rescheduling of any significant in-class tests.

Online Editors

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