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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 22 March, 2018

Ambulance base in Wexford blocked by snowdrifts and abandoned cars

Up to a metre of snow fell in parts of Wexford, according to the County Council.

Snow_Rathmore_Kildare_2Mar18-59 Snowdrifts in Rathmore, Co Kildare. Source: Niall Sargent/The Green Diary

THE SEVERE WEATHER has hit areas of Wexford particularly badly, according to the latest briefing from the National Emergency Coordination Centre

Responding to questions about the knock-on effect of the severe weather, a HSE spokesperson said that Wexford was one of the worst affected areas by the snow.

What’s caused a real difficulty is cars that were abandoned by people who drove out in the worst of the weather, he said.

“We’ve had difficulties around the ambulance base in Wexford town in that it couldn’t be cleared by snow ploughs.”

He said that this was because “cars who went out in the worst of the weather broke down and have blocked the route and blocked access for the ploughs to get there and clear it”.

This was why earlier in the week when people were asked to stay off roads and not cause obstructions, he added.

The snowploughs in Wexford couldn’t gain access to clear the ambulance service, the base and the hospital because of this.
Wexford is a difficult area at this time.

He said they’ve also experienced “serious difficulty” in trying to access patients who have made 999 and 112 calls because of the depth of the snow in some places.

Wexford County Council said that “depths of 10-15cms were reported in Wexford, Gorey and Enniscorthy areas, 5-10cms in the New Ross area”, with “significantly more snow in Bunclody area with drifting leading to more than a metre of snow in places”.

Although snow ploughs are still clearing roads, Wexford County Council advises people not to travel, as all routes currently extremely hazardous.

Slips, trips and falls

The HSE are expecting a busy period over the next few days as snow melts and makes pathways and roads slippery.

They’re expecting more “slips, trips and falls” and as a result of that coupled with people who have held off attending Emergency Departments, they’re expecting a spike in demand as roads begin to clear again.

In the coming days as a result of falls, and where people can’t access HSE facilities, there will be serious move of people to emergency departments.

The Defence Forces are helping paramedics, hospital staff and other emergency services travel along dangerous roads.

The Wexford County Council said that there had been “some significant outages today”, and that the county’s water network has developed “a number of water bursts”.

It must be emphasised that conditions are and will remain very difficult and dangerous over the coming days and the public are advised not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

The local authority advised that people continue to exercise “high levels of caution for their own safety” in the extreme cold, accumulated snow and icy conditions.

“The presence of large snow drifts, particularly on local roads is going to pose particular problems and individual houses may be inaccessible for some time.”

Read: Lidl store in Citywest, Dublin raided

Read: 34,000 premises without power due to Storm Emma

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