Storm Emma

Live updates as snow causes disruption nationwide

Rachel Flaherty, Dan Griffin Fri, Mar 2
LIVE: Storm Emma

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  • 07:57
    Good morning. After a night of heavy snowfall, thousands of homes around the country are without power.

  • 07:57
    ESB Networks said its crews would not be able to restore power in many places until 8pm on Friday. Derek Hynes of ESB Networks said 23,800 homes and businesses were without power, the vast majority in a triangle from Dundalk, Co Louth to Kildare, to South County Dublin.

  • 07:58
    North Co Dublin was particularly hit with 9,000 without service, while 3,000 were without power in Navan, Co Meath and 2,500 in the Drogheda area.
  • 08:00
    Mr Hynes said crews were dealing with 10 "reasonably big faults" and advised people who still have power to charge up their phones and stock up with extra fuel if possible. ESB Networks is publishing service updates at:
  • 08:01
    He confirmed that a number of people became trapped in their cars. "We asked the guards to assist in Julianstown, there were several people stuck in cars," he told Morning Ireland. "But overall people seem to have stayed off the roads." He added that the fire brigade responded to 62 fire reports yesterday, mostly traffic incidents.
  • 08:01
    Dublin Fire Brigade said there were 214 ambulance cases since yesterday. Mobilisation officer David Kavanagh said a lot of the ambulances got bogged down in the snow and some crews had to dig themselves out.
  • 08:01

    People have now been advised to stay indoors until 6pm today.
  • 08:01
    Today's forecast from Met Eireann: Snowfall will continue today across Munster, Leinster and parts of Connacht in strong easterly winds; scattered snow showers in the northwest of the country. Remaining cold with highest temperatures of -1 to 2 degrees.
  • 08:09
    The advice to stay indoors for the rest of the day has now been lifted.
  • 08:10
    The snowfall was so severe it knocked out the Irish Times liveblog for much of the morning. We're up and running again now though.  
  • 08:11
    As usual, send any photos or updates to or @dangriffinIT
  • 08:12
    Meanwhile, in England.
  • 08:17
    “We have so much anger towards Ireland  right now,” German tourists tell Conor Pope.  “We always thought people here were strong and brave but what happens when you get a little bit of snow? Everything is closed.”
  • 08:17
    They are talking to a man on the radio now. "Is the worst over," Rachel English asks him. "No," he says.
  • 08:21
  • 08:21
    Rathcoole this morning (below).
  • 08:22
    The man on the radio was Sean Hogan, chairman of the National Emergency Coordination Group. He'd know what he was talking about. He insisted that people should stay off the roads today.
  • 08:24
  • 08:25
    Many roads remain impassable and more than 20,000 homes face a day without power.
  • 08:29
  • 08:29
    Thank you to Michael Regan for this lovely photo of goldfinches at a feeder in Meath.
  • 08:33

    A Government press release says a red level warning remains in place for snow with strong easterly winds for Munster, Leinster and Co Galway. An orange Level warning is in place in the rest of the country.

    "However, the blizzard conditions have passed and the public safety advice to shelter indoors is withdrawn. Conditions are and will remain very difficult and the public are advised to continue to exercise high levels of caution for their own safety in the extreme cold, accumulated snow and icy conditions underfoot.

    "There are variations in storm impact across the country and people need to take account of circumstances locally before deciding to venture outdoors or undertake journeys. In particular, it will take some time to get roads open again and people should listen for local updates on road conditions."

  • 08:34
    Superintendent Tom Murphy from the Garda roads policing division said rescue services had a very busy night rescue people who had gotten stuck in their cars.
  • 08:37

    In one case, he said, the snow was so deep the only way rescuers could identify a trapped woman's car was by asking her to put her handbag on top of it.

    He said some families got stuck when they attempted to bring their children out to see the snow. Mission accomplished there, presumably.

    But Murphy said drivers placed a real burden on rescue services last night. Unless it's an emergency, don't go out on the roads today, he said.

  • 08:40
    Whatever snow there is in Dublin now appears to be falling as a colourless liquid.
  • 08:42
  • 08:42
    Snowy cars in Ranelagh (below).
  • 08:45
    "The country more or less needs to stay in hibernation today," says Tánaiste Simon Coveney. He says employers need to be realistic when it comes to expecting their staff to come to work.
  • 08:55
  • 08:56

    Ranelagh snowman (below), complete with black olives. "Ranelagh in chilly sculpture form," says creator Deirdre Coy.

  • 08:59
  • 09:01
    "We've taken out the term 'blizzard' from the status red warning," Met Éireann forecaster Evelyn Cusack says. "But we are going to get further spells of heavy snow."
  • 09:05
  • 09:05
    Thanks to  Mark Sajda and his future winter olympian, Kate, for sending in this image (below). "Much more fun than normal kayaking," he says.
  • 09:06
    Are you stranded in a car? We want to hear from you:
  • 09:08
  • 09:13

    Are there any shops with fuel open today? When the last briquette has been burned, the last lump of coal turned to ash, only then will you realise you can't burn bread.

  • 09:16
  • 09:16
    Inchicore (below) Thanks to Gavin Ó Ceallacháin.
  • 09:21
  • 09:21
    Thanks to Chris Carpenter for this photo  (below) of his back garden this morning.
  • 09:25

    More than 1,250 flights to or from UK and Irish airports were cancelled on Friday. Here are the airports with the most cancellations:
    London Heathrow: 358
    Dublin: 338
    Edinburgh: 120
    Glasgow International: 77
    Bristol: 62
    London City: 54
    Manchester: 40
    London Gatwick: 38
    Cork: 38
    Birmingham: 34

  • 09:41
  • 09:43
    Thank you to Aoife Byrne, who sent in this photo (below) of the fine view of the snow from her window in Ballycullen, D24.
  • 09:58

    And so to England, and the A31 in Hampshire, where the military has helped police rescue hundreds of drivers stranded in heavy snow (PA reports).

    Disaster struck after the major route connecting Hampshire and Dorset through the New Forest became impassable in both directions.

    Thoughtful locals came to the aid of the stricken with "snacks and hot drink" in what some of the drivers may one day refer to as "our Dunkirk".

    Everyone has since been rescued but police are urging drivers to stay away until the weather improves.

  • 10:03
  • 10:04
    Siobhan Ryan sends this image (below) of the legendary midnight snowboarder of Malahide.
  • 10:08
  • 10:11
    Niall Ginty writes: There’s one simple way to assess the safety level for a weather emergency in Ireland. Check out the number of pubs that remain open! And we are hearing now that many pubs plan to open at midday today.
  • 10:15
  • 10:18
    It's still very tough going on local roads, the county and city councils body says. And that will remain the case for the next couple of days. Some work is expected to be done today to improve conditions on primary routes.
  • 10:20
  • 10:26
    But what about this from the UK: “We sincerely apologise to passengers who were stranded on trains overnight. They have all been taken to Bournemouth station where South Western Railway staff are providing hot food and drinks."
  • 10:32
  • 10:34
    Thanks to Mark Gaynor in Rathcoole for this photo (below).
  • 10:37
  • 10:38
    Grace Cunningham sends this slightly eerie photograph, which she calls "Girl in Blizzard, Rathfarnham".
  • 10:46

    Reports coming in from around the country now that snow plows are mobilising to clear roads of large snow drifts.

    I wonder how the local authority snow plow thing works. Where are they kept for the five years they're not in use. And are there designated drivers who operate them whenever it snows? "Does anyone remember how to turn this thing on?"

  • 10:47
  • 10:54

    Some updates now from our WEstern Correspondent Lorna Siggins:  

    A snowplough has been clearing the M18 Gort-Tuam motorway, with conditions on the northbound lanes reported to be very difficult.  In Mayo, main roads are reported to be “passable” but secondary roads are treacherous. The Castlerea to Roscommon route and roads around Ballintubber, Co Mayo, are said to be in a dangerous conditions, and Garda in Roscommon have urged people not to travel unless vital.

  • 10:56

    Water levels on Inishbofin island are also very low, following a mechanical failure, and a repair crew will travel “as soon as possible”, Irish Water says. Meanwhile, it is asking islanders to conserve water.

    “Huge demand” on water has been registered in the Tully and Letterfrack areas due to taps being left running in peoples homes.  IW appealed to the public not to run taps, and to take showers instead of baths and refrain from using dishwashers or washing machines.
  • 10:59
    Forecaster Gerry Fleming says snowfall from the Beast from the East was more widespread than the big freeze of 1982.  
  • 11:01
  • 11:04
  • 11:07
  • 11:07
    Thank you to Mike Cleary from Cobh, who sent this photo (below) with no further explanation.
  • 11:10
    If you want to get in touch with your stories from the snow, please do at or @dangriffinIT
  • 11:13
  • 11:13
    The dog looks like it might have been the brains behind the operation in this photo from Martin Hackett.
  • 11:17
    The word from Kerry is that the snow has finally arrived and a few cars have gone off the road in the north east of the county.
  • 11:18

    In Cavan the council says the combination of high winds and snowfall overnight has led to snow drifts of up to 2 metres in places.

  • 11:22
  • 11:23
    Thanks Helen Molony for this photo (below) of some  cars stuck at Newlands cross this morning.
  • 11:38

    After the snow, the thaw. And then, the flood:

    "While the snow is due to ease from Saturday, the AA is warning that as the snow thaws there is a significant risk of surface moisture building up on roads and potentially instances of localised flooding where larger accumulations of snowfall built up."
  • 11:43
  • 11:44
    Emily Meade sends this action shot (below) of her brother, Alan, and his dog, Fintan, running after a snowball in Slane.
  • 11:46
  • 11:47
    I am going now to see if the hotel around the corner is open and serving food. I'll be back with more updates shortly. In the meantime, you can send your photos and stories to or @dgriffinIT
  • 12:22
  • 12:24
    In Northern Ireland, the wintry weather is mainly causing problems in counties Armagh, Down and southern parts of Antrim. The Met Office has said a yellow weather warning is in place in Northern Ireland through to Saturday. Around 400 schools are closed today and there is disruption and delays on the roads with some bus services not operating as normal. Belfast International Airport and George Best Belfast City Airport are open but some flights have been cancelled.  
  • 12:28
    The Grand Canal, frozen over in Inchicore. "The birds were all turning in unison depending on the wind direction," writes Deirdre O'Brien. "Poor things."
  • 12:34
  • 12:44
  • 12:44
    It's 1.5m deep in Donaghmede, writes Mark Sugrue.
  • 12:52
    A reader has asked whether the hotel had food earlier. No, no it didn't. So I had a bowl of someone else's breakfast cereal in the office for lunch. But it's OK because a national red alert emergency is taking place.
  • 12:53
  • 12:54
  • 12:56
    230 snow plows are out clearing roads at the moment, Leo Varadkar says during the National Emergency Coordination Group briefing.
  • 13:02
    The Taoiseach says 123,000 homes lost power since yesterday but 97,000 have been reconnected. He says gardaí dealt with "hundreds" of stranded cars; the Coast Guard assisted 400 people and the Defence Forces responded to 81 requests for assistance.
  • 13:07
    From last night.
  • 13:11
  • 13:11
    Apples for eyes (below). Thanks Maighread Forde.
  • 13:18
  • 13:19
    Thanks to Anthea and Koen who sent in this photo of their "deaf white  cat  Pedro (what  cat  you say!?) who was very well camouflaged while enjoying his first snow!"
  • 13:31
    That's where I'm going to leave it today. Thank you for all your photos. There were loads of great ones that I didn't get a chance to post. Rachel Flaherty takes over the blog now. Enjoy the snow.
  • 13:44
    Good afternoon! I would love to see hear your weather stories or see your photos. You can contact me at or on Twitter at @rachelfl
  • 13:48

    Snow only arrived in Killarney last night and it's looking beautiful

  • 14:03

    Met Éireann meteorologist Gerry Murphy has the latest forecast

    “Some places have had up to 40cm (of snow)... the amounts are varied,” he said.

    “Tonight the snow is going to push further north. More rain for the south of the country.

    “In general as we move through the weekend we’ll see that gradual increase in temperatures.

    “Today, it’s still all about snow. It’s very important people heed them (the alerts).

    Mr Murphy said there will be short, sharp frosts which will make the roads very treacherous.

    Gerry Murphy was speaking on RTÉ’s News at One

  • 14:12

    RIP daffodils

  • 14:13

    Weather conditions won't get better until Sunday

    Conditions won’t be that great over the weekend until possibly Sunday, forecaster Gerry Murphy warns.

  • 14:18

    Dublin Bus is still planning to resume services tomorrow

  • 14:28
  • 14:28
  • 14:29
    Thanks to Anna for taking these photos of the streets of Limerick at 2pm today. All looks very quiet.
  • 14:37

    Well done to the gardaí!

  • 14:44

    Snowball fun in Kilmainham

  • 14:46

    The sea is looking angry in Co Louth

  • 14:49

    Cork Airport hoping to resume flights tomorrow

  • 14:50

    Dublin Airport is also on track to resume flights tomorrow morning

  • 15:01

    Sandycove in Co Dublin

  • 15:03


  • 15:13

    ‘It's not over’

    The public has been warned that the weather emergency is not over despite the ending of the blizzard.  

    Emma has been downgraded from storm status but the red alert for Leinster and Munster is still in place but will be reviewed later today.

     Chairman of the National Emergency Coordination Centre Sean Hogan said "It's not over. We're still in a red warning" system.

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the situation was moving towards a thaw but that presented "significant challenges".

    He appealed to people not to take any unnecessary journeys and paid tribute to the emergency services for their work through the night.

     Mr Varadkar said 6,000 tonnes of salt has been spread this morning to keep main roads open.

     Some 123,000 households had electricity supplies cut but power has been restored to 97,000 homes.

    Five hundred technicians worked through the night and this morning to restore power

     An Garda Síochana responded to hundreds of emergency calls last night and the Defence Forces dealt with 81 individual requests for assistance

    Mr Varadkar again appealed to the public to check on elderly neighbours to make sure they were safe.

     Efforts are being made now to assist suppliers to provide food and fuel and roads near depots are being gritted to make them parable.

    The State's priority is to get public transport back running.

    Limited public transport services will be in place tomorrow but are not expected to start early.

     But "proving" runs of the Luas and rail services will take place later today to check the safety of electric lines. - Marie O'Halloran reports

  • 15:21

    Swimmer being rescued at Forty Foot in Sandycove today

  • 15:37

    So much snow

  • 15:49

    Have you spotted many trees down?

  • 15:50

    It's not a time to ignore the snow

  • 15:59

    Stop what you're doing - video of penguins loving the snow at Dublin Zoo

  • 16:05

    New red alert issued from Met Éireann
    Snow-ice Warning for Dublin, Kildare, Wexford, Wicklow and Meath

    Snow accumulations continuing to increase significantly due to further heavy falls of snow

    Friday, March 2nd 2018 16:00 to Saturday, March 3rd 2018 09:00

  • 16:14
  • 16:22

    Well done to everyone who has helped emergency services vehicles today

  • 16:37
    Snowfall causing more power outages today

    ESB Networks has said they are restoring power but ongoing snowfall is causing new faults mainly in Enniscorthy, Arklow, Portlaoise and Cork areas.
    •      New faults are still occurring on the electricity networks due to the weather conditions
    •      Good progress has been made on existing faults especially in the greater Dublin area
    •      30,000 additional customers have lost electricity since this morning
    •      34,000 homes, farms and businesses are now without power
    •      Due to these new faults, access issues, and worsening weather in the South East,   it will be tomorrow at the earliest before some customers will get electricity back
    •      Cork, Enniscorthy, Arklow, greater Dublin area and eastern counties of Leinster the main areas affected

  • 16:42

    Gardaí are asking people to stay away from the Phoenix Park area

  • 16:54

    Q&A: My flight was disrupted due to the snow storm - what am I entitled too?

    Conor Pope explains what people can do and what to expect.

  • 17:05

    This dog has the right idea on what to do during this weather

  • 17:30
    <div class='article_image image-carousel' style='margin: 0px 0px 24px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; position: relative; width: 620px; overflow: hidden; clear: both;'>
<p class='selectionShareable' style='margin: 0px; padding: 8px 0px 0px !important; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.4em; border-bottom: 0px; max-width: 100%; font-family: DINWeb-Medium, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #888888; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: transparent; display: block;'>Bride and groom Claire Doggett and Gary Conroy brave the elements with bridesmaids and groomsmen at Trim Castle. Photograph: Alan Betson/Irish Times</p>

    Bride and groom Claire Doggett and Gary Conroy brave the elements with bridesmaids and groomsmen at Trim Castle. Photograph: Alan Betson/Irish Times

  • 17:47

    I recorded this earlier today on the Dart line between Seapoint and Salthill/Monkstown - Darts are supposed to be back running tomorrow but it's not looking good for this line



  • 17:54
    Luas update

    The Luas Red and Green Line Services are not in operation today and tonight.
    The Luas Red and Green Line Services will not operate in the morning – Saturday, March 3rd
    Luas will make a decision on when service can resume post 9am tomorrow.
    Luas anticipate service can resume later on Saturday on the Red and Green Lines but the services offered will be limited with reduced frequency and will not operate a full Line.
    On the Green Line we do not anticipate a service on Saturday between Sandyford and Brides Glen and on the Red Line between Red Cow and Tallaght, Red Cow and Saggart.   These sections of Lines are badly affected by snow.

  • 17:59
    President stresses the importance of staying safe

    President Michael D Higgins has said events can be re-organised but lives cannot as Storm Emma continues to batter the country.
    The storm has passed through Ireland but heavy snow remains in parts of the south and east of the country. A status red snow ice warning has been extended until 9am on Saturday morning for Dublin, Kildare, Wexford, Wicklow and Meath. The warning to stay inside has been lifted however numerous events throughout the country have been cancelled and authorities have warned caution is advised.
    "All of these things can be done again. I think the important thing is that people are safe," he told RTÉ Radio One Drivetime.
    President Higgins paid tribute to emergency workers and caterers who have been working throughout the severe weather
    Figures from Met Éireann show 11cm of snow fell at Dublin Airport while 10cm fell in Phoenix Park.- Áine McMahon reports
  • 18:08

    The power of the sea

  • 18:12

    More helpful residents

  • 18:18

  • 18:19

    We're all going to starve

  • 18:21

    I've heard two stores playing Christmas songs over the last few days. Definitely not a fan. Anyone heard of Christmas songs being played in stores? Send me your thoughts to

  • 18:25

    Snow wins

  • 18:53
    Stay warm John

  • 18:57

    More Ryanair flights cancelled

  • 19:06

    More than 50 Aer Lingus flights cancelled for Saturday morning

  • 19:09

  • 19:15

  • 19:22

    You can send your queries to Ryanair and Aer Lingus through Twitter at the moment

  • 19:30

    Supermarket incident

    “Gardaí are aware of an incident at a supermarket on Fortunestown Lane and are investigating same.”

    Statement from gardaí this evening in relation to a supermarket in Dublin

  • 19:37

  • 19:39

    HSE cancels non-urgent surgeries for Saturday

  • 19:51

    Irish Rail says services will not resume until about midday on Saturday

  • 20:05

    Nothing to see here... just a dog snowboarding in Wexford

  • 20:16

    This is worth posting again



  • 20:21

  • 20:31

    Killiney beach today

  • 20:33

    The snowmen seem to be getting a lot taller today


  • 20:36

  • 20:40

  • 20:44
    Supermarket in Dublin looted during Storm Emma

    A Lidl store in Tallaght has been looted during Storm Emma.
    Gardaí have said they are investigating the incident on Fortunestown Lane.
    Lidl Ireland has also confirmed the incident and said they would be issuing a statement in due course.
    Local Fine Gael Councillor Brian Lawlor said a group of young men allegedly broke into the store, which had been closed during the storm, at around 4pm.
    “A gang of young men broke in, robbed the store and smashed it up as well. It is very disappointing that shop was looted at a time when emergency services are so busy,” he said.
    “The looters robbed all types of alcohol from the shop and then smashed the place up too causing possibly thousands of euro worth of damage,” said Mr Lawlor.
    He described the incident as “a very cynical move by the gang”.
    “Emergency services and gardaí were very busy today dealing with all the post storm incidents and with abandoned cars up in Tallaght and other areas of south Dublin,” he said.
    “I would like to condemn in the strongest terms, the actions of the gang who targeted Lidl today and for putting a strain of the stretched resources of gardaí and emergency services during the worst weather the country has seen,” he said.
    Local Sinn Féin councillor Cathal King said local residents are “angered” by the actions of the alleged looters.
    “Great community spirit has been shown in Tallaght over the past few days and the disgraceful actions of a very small minority are not representative of the great community here,” said Mr King.
    - Áine McMahon reporting

  • 20:50
    Thanks to Gavin Wheatley for his igloo photo in Portobello today. Impressive!
    Thanks to Gavin Wheatley for his igloo photo in Portobello today. Impressive!
  • 21:15

    Schools and businesses may stay closed after unprecedented snowfall

    Unprecedented snowfalls in parts of the country have raised serious concerns that the effects of Storm Emma may force the closure of hundreds of schools and businesses on Monday.
    However, Bus Éireann said it may be able to resume services in some parts of the country on Saturday, dependent on road conditions. And Dublin Bus expects to operate services, though disruptions will affect frequency and diversions will be in place.

  • 21:27

    Dublin Fire Brigade are responding to reports of a fire at the supermarket

  • 21:33

    Latest on the supermarket looting

    A Lidl store on Fortunestown Lane in Citywest has been looted and smashed up using a digger and two other stores have also been attacked.
    Gardaí have said they are investigating the incidents.
    “An Garda Siochana is responding to a number of incidents in the Tallaght area. A number of arrests have been made,” a spokesman said.
    In a statement, Lidl Ireland said it was aware of the “very serious incident” at their Fortunestown Lane store.
    “Given that the incident is now the subject of a criminal investigation we are not in a position to comment further at this time,” the company said.
    Local Fine Gael Councillor Brian Lawlor said a group of young men allegedly broke into the store, which had been closed during the storm, at around 4pm.
    “A gang of young men broke in, robbed the store and smashed it up as well. It is very disappointing that shop was looted at a time when emergency services are so busy,” he said.
    “The looters robbed all types of alcohol from the shop and then smashed the place up too causing possibly thousands of euro worth of damage,” said Mr Lawlor.
    He described the incident as “a very cynical move by the gang”. - reporting from Aine McMahon

  • 21:40

    Dublin Fire Brigade confirm there was no fire at the supermarket

  • 22:10

    Dublin Airport hard at work

  • 22:13

    Don't miss the Irish Times tomorrow

  • 22:15

    Statement from Lidl

  • 22:31

    Latest on incidents involving looting of supermarkets and shops

    Gardaí confirm they have arrested at least eight people so far in connection with the incidents- Áine McMahon reports

  • 22:55

  • 23:13

    That's it from me tonight everyone. Thanks for all your photos, stories and thoughts you shared through the day.

    The latest on the looting incidents involving supermarket and shops and the theft of vehicles in west Dublin is gardaí have arrested nine people and the investigation is continuing. Gardaí said substantial damage was caused to a supermarket at Fortunestown Lane and further damage to a premises in Jobstown. Anyone with information can contact 1800 666 111.

    Met Éireann have extended red and orange weather alerts to 9am.

    Thank you to all emergency services and people working hard to help others through the severe weather event.

    I'll be back blogging at 7am tomorrow with all the latest updates. Hope you are all safe indoors and snug.