Snow Saturday

Storm Emma aftermath: treacherous road conditions across the country as flooding fears increase

Rachel Flaherty Sat, Mar 3
LIVE: Snow Saturday

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  • 07:58
    Good morning everyone. Another white morning for many in Ireland. Met Éireann has downgraded the weather warning for an orange alert. So good news for most of the country.
  • 08:11

    Warnings update

    Met Éireann have updated their weather warnings at 06.00hrs this morning.

    An ORANGE level weather warning is in place for Munster, Leinster, Cavan and Monaghan for some further snow this morning, with widespread treacherous surfaces due to ice and snow on the ground.

    Conditions are and will remain very difficult and the public are advised continue to exercise high levels of caution for their own safety in the accumulated snow and icy conditions.

  • 08:15

    Met Éireann forecaster Gerry Murphy

    The orange warning is to take heed of the fact that road conditions are very treacherous.

    Connacht and Ulster could get some snow for a time.

    Temperatures have increased between 3 and 5 degrees so anything that falls could fall as rain or sleep. Mr Murphy was speaking on RTE radio.

  • 08:19

    Flooding risk

    Met Éireann forecaster Gerry Murphy said there is a significant risk of flooding in parts.

    He said roads are still extremely dangerous in many places.

  • 08:22

    When will normality return?

    The National Emergency Co-ordination Group has yet to meet. We'll know more about schools and businesses opening once they go.

  • 08:26

    Get in touch

    Let me know how your area is affected? Do you still have snow? Send me your stories, thoughts or photos to or on Twitter at @rachelfl


  • 08:29

    Power outages

    ESB says 25,000 families who have no electricity around the country this morning. Most of these are in the south-east.

    Power is expected to be restored in the next 24 to 36 hours.

  • 08:32

    Water problems

    About 10,000 people with no water or with intermittent supply.

  • 08:37

    Dublin Airport is open

  • 08:44

    Airport updates

    Airports open this morning are Dublin Airport, Ireland West airport and Shannon Airport

    Cork Airport is still closed at the moment.

  • 08:50

    No jogging just yet

    Brian Farrell from the Road Safety Authority was speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland:

    “Roads are still treacherous and some still impassable. It’s vital you don’t end up getting stranded.

    There’s a real concern as we see a thaw on the road and footpaths that it will exacerbate the problem (black ice).

    The other concern we have is a lot of falling icicles and chunks of snow will cause a risk to pedestrians. It is not the time to go out jogging in these conditions."

  • 09:02
    Looting of shops in Dublin
    At least nine people were arrested after looters stole a digger and broke into a Lidl story in Dublin.
    The roof of the shop was badly damaged and a large number of young men then ran into the store and stole stock, including alcohol.
    Close to that incident at the Fortunestown Lane store, a Centra shop was also looted in Jobstown.
    However, the incident at Lidl was significantly more serious, with structural damage caused to the roof. The bucket of the large digger was repeatedly rammed onto the roof.
    And in video footage recorded from a nearby house the roof could be seen partially collapsing under the force of the construction vehicles arm being repeatedly rammed into it with force.
    The Garda’s efforts to get to the scene were complicated by large snow drifts on some of the access roads.
    There were also reports that boulders of snow had been rolled across roads in an apparent effort to block vehicles from reaching the area where the Lidl store is located.
    The Defence Forces were also called into action under its aid to the civil power function. It supplied vehicles capable of getting large numbers of gardai into the area despite the poor condition of the roads.
    Uniformed gardai as well as armed detectives and the Public Order Unit were called into the area in around the Lidl store in a bid to restore order.
    There were reports locally of a fire at the Lidl store and Dublin Fire Brigade dispatched three fire tenders. However, no fire was found.- Reporting by Conor Lally

  • 09:08

    Luas updates - good news and bad news

  • 09:16

    Road closure in Malahide

  • 09:18

    Road crews out early this morning

  • 09:23

    Update on the supermarket incidents

  • 09:27

    Irish Rail plans to resume services about midday today

    They are currently inspecting rail lines and will have further updates after 10am.

  • 09:30

  • 09:33


  • 09:36

    Melting snow and flooding

    “There would be a concern today with melting snow today. The snow is not going to be very quick, it’s going to be more of a gradual thaw, but there is potential of heavier rain for the south and east this afternoon as well, and that rain would compound matters because you’d already have lots of slush and water from melting snow, so local flooding is something people would have to be aware of in the south and east,” a Met Éireann forecaster said this morning.

  • 09:42

    Some homes will remain without power tonight

    An ESB spokesman said they are “hoping to get the vast majority” of the 25,000 homes and businesses without power restored today, although there is a “possibility of pockets being without power tonight”.
    The spokesman said about 2,000 people in Dublin were lost power last night.
    “Essentially it’s new outages that are causing us just a few issues to stay on top of them but we’ve got crews deployed and we’re working to restore as many of that 25,000 figure over the course of today,” he said.
    Out of the 25,000 without power today, he said 18,000 of that figure is in Co Wexford, adding that Enniscorthy and Wexford Town are “very, very badly hit”.
    “We’re hoping potentially more benign weather conditions will mean that we could access a lot of those homes a little bit easier and get people back, but that will be a long slog over the course of today so crews are deployed down there… Around 800 ESB network personnel and contractors are part of the effort,” he said.- reporting by Hajar Akl

  • 09:42

    Troops out early this morning

  • 09:48

  • 09:55

    So many people have been impressive through this severe weather, Patricia is another showing her commitment to helping others

  • 10:01

    Reminder that the Irish Times newspaper is available to download for free today.

  • 10:04

    Further weather problems

    There could be further problems across the country with the high risk of flooding.   The severe weather continues to impact power and water with more than 25,000 without power and about 10,000 without water. The RSA is warning drivers and pedestrians to be very careful as roads and footpaths are still treacherous.

  • 10:18

    Big clean ups happening on the rail lines

    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en">

    It’s not just snow the #OrangeArmy is clearing, debris and fencing from yesterday’s sea surge at Seapoint too #BeastFromTheEast

    — Iarnród Éireann (@IrishRail) March 3, 2018

  • 10:19
    Lots of reports of plenty of snow on the roads so be careful driving this morning.
  • 10:33
  • 10:33
  • 10:34

    Thanks to Arthur Laumann from the photos below. Arthur, from Amsterdam, got in touch to say his car is still snowed in at New Ross in Co Wexford this morning.

    “I'm staying near New Ross in the countryside and the countryroad here is still inaccessible. I was meant to fly out of Dublin today, but now I'm hoping I can catch a flight on Monday night. I don't know if I'll be able to make it. Amazing how the country seems to be shut down, closed for business and everything."

  • 10:42

    Tesco opening hours today

  • 10:45

    Lidl opening times

    Stores to open from 10am. After the vandalism to Fortunestown Lane store last night, it will remain closed.

  • 10:49

    Dunnes in north Dublin opening at 1pm today


  • 10:51

  • 10:54


    I'm hearing reports a some Supervalu stores are open in Co Dublin and Munster.  

  • 10:55

    Hopefully you won't need to use this but just in case


  • 11:12

  • 11:14

    Dublin Bus is operating a limited service today

  • 11:15

    RSA is warning road users not to get lulled into a false sense of security


  • 11:19

    Queues at some stores today

  • 11:20

    Some shops low in supplies today

  • 11:22

    Plenty of snow around in Co Galway

  • 11:24

    Most Aldi stores have reopened

  • 11:32

  • 11:45

    Snowboarding in Cork


  • 11:47

    Community spirit comes to the rescue again

  • 11:51

  • 12:07

    Dundrum Town shopping centre reopens

    The centre’s anchor stores House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Penny’s are now open.

  • 12:09

    Cork Airport has reopened

  • 12:10

    Irish Rail services resume

  • 12:19

    Aaah, there's a man on the radio advising that throwing a few slices of bread under your car tyres will help get a grip in slippy conditions. Has anyone ever tried this?   All tips to


  • 12:22

    No Dunnes open in Thurles

  • 12:29

  • 12:32

  • 12:36

    Electricity update

    ESB Networks says about 19,000 customers are without electricity. Most of these homes are in the south east.

  • 12:40
    <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;'>The Lidl supermarket on Fortunestown Lane in west Dublin, after it was looted and attacked with a digger. Photograph: Chai Brady /PA Wire</p>

    The Lidl supermarket on Fortunestown Lane in west Dublin, after it was looted and attacked with a digger. Photograph: Chai Brady /PA Wire

  • 12:49

  • 12:51

    Schools and college will open on Monday (where possible)

  • 12:57
    Latest from the Luas
    The opening of the line from The Point to the Red Cow Stop is delayed. The time at which the line from the Red Cow to The Point will be open is unknown.
    Maintenance teams are working "extremely hard" to clear the snow on Luas tracks and platforms. There is an accumulation of snow on the tracks in certain areas which is taking longer to plough than anticipated, according to the Luas website.
    At 1 pm, a very limited service between Red Cow and Blackhorse will operate.
    The Luas Green Line is not in operation and an opening time today is yet to be determined.
    Luas Park and Rides are all closed.
    Customers are advised to allow time to travel, be extremely cautious travelling to and from stops, at platforms, entering and exiting the tram.

  • 13:06
    <p>Thanks to Paul Scott for the photo of his snowwoman prepared for the warmer temperatures in a bikini top today in Clontarf. Slightly scandalous no bikini bottoms but we'll allow it on probably the last snow day.</p>

    Thanks to Paul Scott for the photo of his snowwoman prepared for the warmer temperatures in a bikini top today in Clontarf. Slightly scandalous no bikini bottoms but we'll allow it on probably the last snow day.

  • 13:07

  • 13:15

    Met Éireann meteorologist Joanna Donnelly has learned some lessons from Storm Emma

  • 13:21

    Lovely video of Co Galway

  • 13:29

    Many people reporting coastal flooding at Blackrock Dart station

    High tide isn't due until 3pm

  • 13:33

    A lot of snow in Kildare

  • 13:44

  • 13:45

    The Burren is looking beautiful

  • 13:57

    All parks reopened in Limerick

  • 14:20

    Great video of how Storm Emma impacted different areas across Ireland

  • 14:24

    Not much time left!

  • 14:28
    'It's not over yet'
    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said in a press conference today that while things are slowly improving, “we don’t wish to lull people into a false sense of security”.
    “There may be more snow today and road services are treacherous in many areas due to ice and lying snow,” he said.
    The National Emergency Co-ordination Group (NECG) had a meeting this morning to discuss and monitor arrangements for the severe cold weather event this week. Some of the ministers in attendance were Ministers Eoghan Murphy, Shane Ross, Denis Naughten and Simon Harris.
    Mr Varadkar advised people to stay off the roads until they’ve been cleared, and that only people working in essential services should undertake journeys.
    As the snow begins to melt, there is a risk of flooding as water levels start to rise. Mr Varadkar warned people to stay away from rivers and coastal areas particularly during high tide.
    He said local authorities have 3,000 people on the ground this weekend to ensure things are up and running as soon as possible.
    Mr Varadkar said about 20,000 were still without power yesterday. He said they expect all remaining homes to be reconnected within 36 hours.
    Mr Varadkar was told by the Minister of Defence that 745 troops are deployed across the country to assist, with 347 4x4 and 6x4 vehicles, and they will continue to work over the weekend.

  • 14:37

    Several cars burnt out during disturbances in Tallaght

    A number of vehicles were destroyed by fire in disturbances in the Tallaght area of west Dublin on Friday night, Conor Lally reports.
    Vehicles stranded in large snow drifts and others parked outside houses were destroyed in the arson attacks.
    Because the emergency services were restoring order in the general area, and were also restricted by the weather in accessing the affected areas, the charred shells of the vehicles were still on the streets on Saturday morning.
    It may take the rest of the day before the vehicles are cleared.
    Gardaí believe the cars were set alight in an attack of vandalism by a group of people who appeared to be taking advantage of the fact that gardaí could not access some areas because of large snow drifts.
    The trouble began at about 5pm when the Lidl store at Fortunestown Lane in Citywest was broken into. A large number of people gained access to the shop and looted it.

  • 14:55


    The Archdiocese of Dublin has said there is no obligation on people to attend Mass this weekend where weather conditions make it unsafe.
    The diocese, which covers the city and county of Dublin, most of Co Wicklow, and parts of counties Kildare, Carlow, Wexford, and Laois, said in a statement on Saturday that some churches would remain closed on Sunday.
    “Where weather conditions make it unsafe or where road conditions make it dangerous, imprudent or difficult, there is no obligation to attend Sunday mass this weekend,” it said.
    “Where serious conditions of access or safety arise regarding a church building, the parish priest or rector may decide that a church may remain closed even on Sunday. This should be communicated locally.”

  • 14:58
    Thanks to Ann-Maria Feeney for the photo. She said: '(Thanks to) the nurses in Crumlin Children's Hospital for getting in and looking after my daughter in ICU ....Oh....they work hard and still manage to have a sense of humour.'
    Thanks to Ann-Maria Feeney for the photo. She said: "(Thanks to) the nurses in Crumlin Children's Hospital for getting in and looking after my daughter in ICU ....Oh....they work hard and still manage to have a sense of humour."
  • 15:01

    Rabbit rescue - well done Dublin Airport


  • 15:07
    That's it from me today. Thanks again for your company, stories and comments. Colin Gleeson will look after the blog for the rest of the evening.
  • 15:15
    Good afternoon. My name is Colin Gleeson and I'll be bringing you the latest weather updates for the next few hours. You can tweet me @ColinGleesonIT if you have any weather-related photos or stories to share, and I'll post them here.
  • 15:17

    In the North, the Met Office has said a yellow weather warning for ice is in place for Sunday.

    Heavy snow fall in recent days is affecting many areas with disruption to some public transport routes continuing.

    The PSNI and Lagan Valley SDLP MLA Pat Catney have assisted a family trapped in their home by a four feet high, 70ft long snow drift.

  • 15:26

    The National Emergency Coordination Group met this morning to review the severe weather situation and was joined by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

    The group said this “exceptionally severe period” of weather is on a par with the big snows of 1947, 1962/63 and most recently 1982.

    However, Storm Emma and the very heavy snowfalls it brought since Thursday evening are “greatly diminished”.

    “While there may be some further snow showers today, our Met Eireann colleagues tell us that warmer air brought by Storm Emma displaced the Siberian air which has produced very low temperatures since the beginning of this week.

  • 15:28

    As the thaw sets in, conditions are and will remain very difficult and the public are advised to continue to exercise high levels of caution for their own safety if out and about in the accumulated snow and icy conditions.

    Those who are cut off by the very large drifts should keep in touch by phone with friends and family.

    Farming community with 4 x 4 tractors have helped greatly and continue to do this. There are variations in storm impacts across the country. Work is going on to ensure that emergency services can operate in areas where conditions are worst.

    Local authorities, TII and public transport operators are working to open the principal road networks and to get public transport operating again.

    The motorway network is largely open despite challenging conditions overnight. Some other primary routes are having difficulties and many regional and minor roads remain impassable.

  • 15:34

    Public transport will begin to become operational again today, and some services, particularly in the North and West, have recommenced.

    Dublin Bus has recommenced a limited service, with more expected to return this afternoon as local conditions allow.

    Airports are generally open, but some flights are subject to cancellations and delay.

  • 15:37

    ESB Networks are dealing with a series of faults on the network and are endeavouring to restore supply in affected areas. The number of customers out of service was reduced from 30,000 yesterday evening to less than 20,000 today.

    Subject to access ESB Networks hopes to restore service to the bulk of remaining customers over the next 24 to 36 hours.

  • 15:42
  • 15:43

    About 10,000 customers remain without water supply. Some 16,000 are on boil water notices but Irish Water says this includes 13,000 customers of the Lough Talt scheme who were on a boil water notice before the adverse weather.

    Some smaller schemes are encountering some problems and Irish Water are appealing to customers to conserve water.

  • 15:44

    Outreach teams report that there were less than ten rough sleepers that refused to avail of shelter last night. These individuals were closely monitored overnight.

  • 15:49
  • 15:50

    Met Eireann is advising that rain will begin to spread from the south today. This indicates a rise in temperatures and the melting process will proceed gradually and more rapidly in urban areas.

    Melting snow in smaller upland catchments with steep profiles have the potential to cause flooding.

    As well as the potential for main rivers flooding, melting snow will cause problems in all sorts of areas with drains, streams and culverts likely to overflow.

    The National Emergency Coordination Group is advising householders and business to watch the thaw process carefully and be ready to react.

    The high tide advisory issued earlier in the week remains in place until Monday. High tide this morning passed on the south coast, with no flooding in Cork.

    Afternoon tide today on east coast is being monitored and the safety advice to the public is to stay away from the coast for the two hour period either side of high tides.

  • 15:52

    The National Emergency Coordination Centre has some safety messages:

    • No unnecessary recreational or social travel should be undertaken in areas where road clearance activities still need to be undertaken

    • Stay away from downed power lines and report any downed power lines to ESB Networks

    • Exercise extreme caution if it is necessary go outside on foot. Footpaths remain treacherous with the risk of slips, trips and falls

    • Please check on vulnerable neighbours

    • Businesses and householders are asked to clear footpaths outside their premises

    • Watch for flooding — stay away from watercourses over the next few days as river levels will rise in some catchments

    • At a household and individual building level, melting snow will cause leaks, may pull down gutters and people should please watch out for snow sliding off roofs

  • 16:05

    Ryanair has returned to operations at all Irish airports but is recommending customers check the status of their flight at before making their way to the airport.

    “Due to the continued severe weather, Ryanair expects some further disruptions throughout the day, and has already cancelled a number of flights to/from Dublin airport, giving customers as much advance notice as possible.

    “All affected customers have already been notified of their options by email and SMS text message and should avoid travelling to the airport.

    “We are doing everything we can to re-accommodate affected customers and minimise disruption to their travel plans and we apologise for any inconvenience caused by these disruptions which are entirely outside of our control.”

  • 16:20
  • 16:22

    A Shannon Airport spokeswoman has confirmed that the airport reopened today.

    “Our airport snow crews were out doing stellar work again, working through the night ploughing the runway and taxi ways in severe weather condition following further snow accumulations,” she said.

    “Their efforts proved successful and we were fully operational at the airport from early this morning.

    “However, we strongly advise passengers intending to fly from, or travel to, Shannon Airport today to contact their relevant airline or check their website before travelling to the airport.”

  • 16:29
  • 17:24

    ESB Networks has said it is making good progress restoring power in difficult conditions.

    Major efforts are continuing in south Co Wexford.

    Electricity has been restored to 13,000 customers since 6am.

    Some 12,000 homes, farms and businesses are now without power nationwide. Nine out of ten of these are in areas around Enniscorthy, New Ross, Wexford, Killinick and Bealistown.

  • 17:43
  • 17:47

    Masses are going ahead in most parishes in the diocese of Kerry this evening, according to Anne Lucey.

    Confirmations in the diocese due to take place in and around Tralee on Thursday and Friday were cancelled this week because of weather.

    Meanwhile, water restrictions have been imposed in parts of mid-Kerry in the Milltown and Killorglin areas. Because of the need to conserve water, the restrictions have been placed on two reservoirs, Irish Water and the Kerry County Council have said.

    The reservoirs where supply have been temporarily suspended include Milltown and Barleymount, and the western side of Killorglin and Cromane. These areas will also have no water until early morning.

    The Ring of Kerry area is in poor condition around Kells and higher roads including the Conor Pass, near Dingle, as well as the Mangerton area of Killarney and the Coomakista Pass remain snowbound.

  • 17:55
  • 18:21

    The HSE National Crisis Management Team (NCMT) met again today to plan for the restoration of health services in the aftermath of Storm Emma.

    Both hospital and community services have suffered big disruptions due to the unprecedented snowfall and the focus now is on restoring normal service as soon as possible.

    The NCMT said it was conscious of the massive effort put in by all staff, both frontline and support staff, to keep services open and to ensure that those most in need received treatment.

    “These staff will now need a period of rest and this will impact staff rosters and service delivery over the coming week,” it said. “We have commenced our recovery plan which will take us through the next ten days.

    “During this period of recovery, the HSE is asking for understanding and cooperation from members of the public as we seek to return to normal service provision as quickly as possible.”

  • 18:27
  • 18:59

    The National Emergency Coordination Group met again this evening to review the severe weather situation.

    It said the overall situation was developing as forecast.

    Met Éireann has indicated that temperatures are rising. The southeast and Wexford in particular are still badly affected.

    One of the main concerns at this stage is that melt water will lead to flooding, particularly when combined with the rain that is forecast. OPW has indicated that the main flood risk is in small steep catchments, rather than the major rivers.

    Drains and gullies may be blocked by snow and debris and local authorities are monitoring for localised flooding in urban areas.

    The public are asked to be conscious of the risk of flooding to all kinds of property and to be aware that melt water accumulations can cause flooding and leaks into buildings.

  • 19:00

    The roads situation is improving by the hour. The motorway network, with the exception of a number of black spots are clear now.

    Local authorities are working to clear secondary roads, have engaged contractors, and are asking people with appropriately equipped tractors and loading shovels to assist in clearing the major snow drifts on the secondary and local roads.

  • 19:01

    Public transport is coming back online in stages

    o Bus eireann services are operational in most cities (except Waterford) but won’t be operating to schedules.

    o Expressway is operating with slight curtailments but not in the south east.

    o Irish Rail intend to operate to timetable but passengers are advised to check for delays.

    o Dart is operating both north and south.

    o Luas Red Line is operating from Red Cow to the Point.

    o Luas Green Line in not operational yet.

    o Dublin Bus is operating at 50 per cent capacity with restrictions on some routes.

    o Airports are open with bus connections and take-offs and landings but passengers are advised to check with airlines as cancellations and delays persist.

    o Ferry services remain subject to cancellations and delay.

  • 19:02

    On power, 14,000 ESB customers remain without supply connections, of which 13,000 are in Wexford.

    ESB Networks intend to have all customers reconnected by tomorrow evening.

    Some 13,000 Irish Water customers (including me!!!) are without supply. Irish Water is appealing to all customers to conserve water.

  • 19:09
  • 19:35
    With that, we're going to wrap up the live blog for now. Thanks for reading and see for updates. All the best.