Red weather warning extended into Saturday

People in the affected areas are being advised to stay indoors

Red weather warning extended into Saturday

pictured are members of the Irish Army Cadet School shovelling snow from outside residents homes in Newbridge, Co.Kildare, 01-03-2018. Image: RollingNews

Updated: 19.10

A status red weather warning for several areas has been extended into Saturday. 

The red snow-ice warning for Dublin, Kildare, Wexford, Wicklow and Meath will be in place until 9.00am on Saturday.

Met Éireann say snow accumulations are continuing to increase significantly due to further heavy falls of snow.

A status orange snow-ice warning for Munster, Carlow, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Offaly, Westmeath, Cavan, Monaghan and Galway is also in place until 9.00am Saturday.

While a status yellow snow-ice warning for Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo has also been extended.

People living in areas where there is a status red warning are being urged to stay indoors.

Chair of the National Emergency Co-Ordination Group, Sean Hogan, says everyone needs to heed the warnings.

"Snow is continuing this evening and will for some hours overnight yet.

"This is falling quite heavily in places.

"So our message remains about not undertaking travel, other than in exceptional circumstances.

"This is an on-going event and conditions are still deteriorating in many areas.

"So please: only those who need to be out and who are contributing to essential services or otherwise should be out on the roads".

Chair of the National Emergency Coordination Group Sean Hogan speaking following a meeting of the group in Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

The group cautioned that conditions "are and will remain very difficult" with the public advised to continue to exercise high levels of caution for their own safety in the extreme cold with icy conditions underfoot.

Different parts of the country have seen different levels of impact from Storm Emma and people are advised to asses the conditions locally before venturing outside.

The group warned that road conditions remain treacherous and it will take some time to get many of them re-opened.

The public is urged to check for local updates on road conditions.

Public transport updates

Unnecessary journeys

Gardaí have again urged motorists to avoid unnecessary journeys.

Many roads remain impassable and local authorities are prioritising national routes.

In a statement Friday morning, gardaí said anyone who is forced to travel and becomes stuck should contact emergency services.

 Emergency assistance

The Defence Forces provided assistance on Friday, including to hospital staff who need to get to work.

They have been assisting HSE staff with transport and visiting house-bound patients over the last few days.

250 army personnel have been deployed over the last few days to provide support across the country.

The troops have only been dealing with "life or death" situations during the worst of the storm.

Commandant Pat O'Connor says the soldiers will continue to provide help in the aftermath:

“Over the course of the next few days, personnel from right around the Defence Forces will be available for requests,” he said.

“Again, we expect similar to what we have done to date which is the likes of mobility taskings, perhaps supporting local councils in flood defences.

“Any other requests that come in will be dealt with and if we have the capability we will certain accede to them.”

Water

Thousands of homes nationwide have also been left without water this morning.

The storm has led to burst mains and boil notices in numerous areas.

There are major issues in Galway and Wicklow.

Irish Water says it is working to restore supplies.

Hospitals

Hospital staff in Dublin have been forced to sleep on mattresses in crowded rooms overnight as a result of the storm.

Photos from the Mater and Tallaght hospitals show floor beds laid out for staff so that they can continue working.

 

 Additional reporting: Jack Quann