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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 13 December, 2018
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Status Orange snow-ice warning issued for seven counties as temperatures set to plunge to -7

The eastern part of the country is set to be the worst hit by the wintry weather.

oep Source: @emergencyIE/Twitter

Updated at 11.50am

A STATUS ORANGE snow-ice warning has been issued for seven counties in the east of Ireland, as the country gears up for an “exceptionally cold” week.

The wintry chill from Siberia has already began sweeping across Europe, with Ireland set to get hit with snow showers on what is to be a very cold Monday, according to Met Éireann.

The snow-ice warning has been issued for Dublin, Carlow, Kildare, Laois, Louth, Wicklow and Meath.

The warning will be valid from 3pm tomorrow until 11am on Wednesday.

Met Éireann has warned that scattered snow showers later tomorrow evening will lead to accumulations of between 4cm to 6cm by Wednesday morning.

The government’s National Emergency Coordination Group for Severe Weather is meeting today to make preparations for the coming days.

A weather advisory warning issued yesterday said that air and ground temperatures will be five to 10 degrees below normal, with “significant wind chill and penetrating severe frosts”.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Met Éireann’s Evelyn Cusack said it’ll be close to “blizzard conditions” at stages throughout the week.

She added that it is possible that a red nationwide warning could be issued this week, which would be the first time since last year’s Storm Ophelia.

The forecast for today predicts “very cold” temperatures and “generally dry, but some snow flurries are likely later today in eastern coastal counties”.

Temperatures will plunge overnight, ranging from -2 to -5 degrees.

Snow showers are set to become fairly frequent across Leinster, east Ulster and southeast Munster tomorrow night.

Wednesday looks set to be the day the “Beast from the East” bites hardest, with daytime temperatures only ranging from -1 to 2 degrees.

Again the snow will be heaviest in the east of the country with frost and ice nationwide, before plunging to -7 degrees overnight into Thursday.

To prepare for the freezing conditions, the government’s severe weather task force will meet at 10.30am this morning.

Homelessness 

The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government advises that this “weather event is likely to have a significant and disruptive impact”.

It advises the public to be aware of Met Éireann’s yellow, orange and red warnings, and to take appropriate action.

Irish Water has mobilised its crisis management arrangements to deal with the expected weather, as severe weather can result in big demand increases on its network with additional pipe bursts and additional water use.

WINTER WONDERLAND 758A1832_90531763 File photo Source: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Minister Eoghan Murphy, meanwhile, has said that extra beds will be made available to rough sleepers in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford during this week. He said that rough sleepers require additional supports and the government is “working hard to implement solutions”.

Also speaking on Morning Ireland, the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) director Eileen Gleeson urged anyone who sees a rough sleeper in the capital to report it using its online facility so that they can respond.

Gleeson said that it is possible that people sleeping on the streets may not be aware of the weather that is being forecast.

She said: “That is our biggest challenge. They may not be aware of what’s coming. It’s also vital that anyone who sees someone homeless out there report it so we can respond.”

Inner City Helping Homeless will be issuing thermal clothing from its office on Amien Street today, after receiving the donation of clothing from Marks and Spencer.

Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, said the charity has been working with the DRHE and local authorities “to coordinate our response” and “will be putting in place a series of exceptional measures this week in order to get as many people out of the extreme cold weather which represents a clear threat to life for people who sleep rough”.

Older people

Alone, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has encouraged members of the public to look out for older people in the community who may live alone.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of Alone, said: “Cold temperatures can have a serious effect on many older people, in particular those living alone, those with health issues, and those with limited mobility.”

Moynihan encouraged older people to prioritise their spending on heating during the cold weather, noting that half of so-called ‘excess winter deaths’ experienced in Ireland can be linked to heating issues.

He said that, based on 2013 figures, one in 10 people aged over 65 who lived alone were unable to keep their homes adequately warm.

We are calling on all members of the public to remember their older neighbours living alone, and to consider their needs.

“We’re advising older people to stay warm in the cold weather by ensuring they have adequate home heating, wearing layers of light but warm clothing, eating at least one hot meal a day and staying indoors where possible,” Moynihan said.

Workers

Employers are being advised to remain vigilant this week in relation to the weather conditions over the next few days.

The Irish SME Association has noted that unlike Storm Ophelia, employers now have the opportunity to prepare for this weather event.

The association is advising employers to take time to put measures in place to reduce the potential business impact the weather could have.

It said employers should have up-to-date contact information for all employees within the organisation in case a last-minute decision needs to be communicated to staff members. It also said a plan should be put in place regarding how to communicate to customers and clients about the potential impact closing the business could have.

“Flexibility should be allowed for employees, especially those who have some distance to travel. Where employees are present in the workplace, care should be taken to remain vigilant for any worsening conditions and cancelled/amended travel services throughout the day,” a statement from the association said.

With reporting by Órla Ryan and Hayley Halpin

Read: Additional emergency beds opened up to accommodate homeless during cold snap

Read: Met Éireann extends warning about ‘exceptionally cold weather’ next week

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Sean Murray

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