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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 31 July, 2014

Getting winter ready: Councils stockpile salt in preparation for icy conditions

Following the cold snaps of 2009 and 2010, some councils said they are well prepared for the icy conditions ahead this winter.

Snow and ice on the roads in 2010.
Snow and ice on the roads in 2010.
Image: eamon farrell/photocall ireland

SOME LOCAL AUTHORITIES are learning from mistakes made in the past and are preparing for the possibility of a cold winter ahead.

Dublin City Council said they are well prepared for any possible icy conditions and have tonnes of salt in storage and in reserve in case the cold snap of 2009 and 2010 return.

Dublin City Council said that the Roads and Traffic Department operates a Severe Weather Response Programme between mid October and mid April.

This programme involves treating more than 300 kilometres of the city’s main roads when they are affected by snow and ice. “Prioritising these means that emergency services can operate, businesses remain open and other essential public services can operate,” said a spokesperson for the council.

As part of this response the council said it has approximately 2,200 tonnes of salt, an increase from 1,700 tonnes in 2010.

“We can also call on an allocation of 1,700 tonnes from the National Roads Authority (NRA). A further 500 tonnes of fine salt is reserves for treating footpaths,” said the spokesperson.

image

(Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)

It’s not just the cities that are gearing up for winter conditions. Over in the west of the country, Clare County Council says it is has access to more than 3,000 tonnes of rock salt to treat the county’s roads during the coming winter, with one third of the salt stock already in storage after it was held over from last year.

An additional 2,000 tonnes of salt is available to the council to draw down when required from the NRA and the Department of Transport (DTTAS), they said.

In 2009 and 2010, the country experienced a cold snap putting many council workers under pressure as temperatures reached sub-zero conditions. The cold weather lasted for longer than expected pushing the country’s salt stock to its limits.

This year will be the first time the county’s motorway and dual carriageways will be treated directly by the National Roads Authority, which assumed responsibility for the National Motorway Network earlier this year.

Let’s hope other local authorities follow suit, and that this is not ahead of us:



(YouTube/The Hrustin)

WATCH: Your 30-second guide to driving in the snow>

Read: What would happen if all the ice melted? Well, we’d be waving goodbye to most of Connacht>

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