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Dublin: 17 °C Tuesday 25 June, 2019
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'We're into recovery mode' - public urged to remain cautious as Storm Emma cleanup kicks into gear

Rain will begin to push in across the country today.

BLIZZARD 741_90538764 Dublin's streets this afternoon Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Updated: 6.05pm

THE LATEST BRIEFING of the National Emergency Coordination Group (NECG) has stated that, for the most part, Storm Emma is done with Ireland.

“We are now into recovery mode, though we are continuing to monitor the situation” Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy told the briefing.

Murphy added that the cleanup is expected to happen more quickly in some areas of the country than others.

He commended the Coast Guard, the civil defence, and the Irish voluntary emergency services for their hard work over the past several days as the Beast from the East took hold.

Chair of the NECG Sean Hogan said that the cleanup situation is currently developing “more or less as forecast”.

Screenshot 2018-03-03 at 17.32.57 Eoghan Murphy Source: NECG

“Wexford and the southeast are still deeply affected by what has happened,” he said.

I hope the little people have had great fun. I for one will be very glad to see this snow melt away.

The latest forecasts from Met Éireann were also given, with temperatures expected to level out at zero degrees in Munster and Leinster tonight.

Tomorrow, temperatures of between three and six degrees are expected, leading to a gradual thaw of the snow that has impacted the country so severely.

“A slow thaw is better than a fast one,” Met Éireann’s Joan Blackburn told the briefing. “But then do we really want mounds of snow?” she added.

The country remains on Orange alert until at least 12pm tomorrow afternoon.

Earlier

This afternoon, the public was urged to stay away from rivers and remain at home unless a journey is absolutely necessary.

Screenshot 2018-03-03 at 12.51.11

The afternoon NECG briefing stated that, while the worst of the cold weather and blizzard has passed, caution must be taken by all citizens in the immediate future.

Addressing the afternoon conference, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it is important that people not be sucked “into a false sense of security”.

“There is still widespread snow and roads remain treacherous,” he said.

I have directed all resources of the state to get Ireland up and running. It’s essential that everyone take great care and stay off the roads, and that only essential services such as utilities workers and those essential to the supply chain make journeys.

Varadkar said that “rivers are rising slowly” due to melting snow, and urged the public to avoid “rivers, waterways and coastal areas”.

Jim Casey of the OPW expanded on the rivers issue slightly, saying that rivers have started to rise “especially in the northeast and east”.

“I would urge the public and farmers to stay away from rivers and watercourses, and to not that the rising water is a potential threat,” he said, and he urged “local authorities to monitor water levels and be prepared for flooding”.

Varadkar stressed the urgent need to resupply shops and stores due to the “risk that food will spoil” otherwise.

He also stressed the urgent issue relating to Ireland’s dairy industry, due to milk not being collected from farms in recent days, something he stressed is a “particular challenge”.

Winter weather March 2nd 2018 Source: RollingNews.ie

“We are working with agricultural concerns and the co-ops to rectify this,” he said.

Regarding the power situation, the Taoiseach said that 10,000 homes had been reconnected overnight, leaving 20,000 homes without power. That is expected to be rectified “in the next 36 hours”.

Varadkar also hailed the “extraordinary efforts” of Ireland’s frontline services in recent days, efforts which he said had “mitigated the worst impacts” of the snow.

Downgrade

This morning Met Éireann downgraded the  Status Red snow and ice warning to orange for the first time in three days.

The orange warning is now in place for Munster, Leinster, Cavan and Monaghan, and has been extended to 12pm on Sunday.

A yellow warning remains in place for Donegal and Connacht.

The national forecaster said that there will be some snow this morning but there will be widespread treacherous surfaces due to ice and lying snow.

Their online forecast read: “Rain will begin to spread from the south today and this will start the melting process with potential flooding. Updates will follow.”

While forecasters predict that the snowfall has stopped in most areas, they suspect that the Wicklow Mountains and  northern parts of the country may experience some further accumulations of snow.

The forecast read: “Elsewhere any snow will turn to sleet and rain later this morning. In the afternoon the rain could turn heavy in the east and south, giving a risk of localised flooding due to melting snow.

“Temperatures will stay around freezing in northern parts but further south they will rise to values between 3 and 6 degrees this afternoon. Easterly winds will be moderate to fresh, but still strong along the east coast.”

Galways City Council and parts of Cork had braced themselves for flooding yesterday as high tide approached. However, the flood-prone areas escaped relatively unscathed. A statement from Cork County Council read: “With high tides, forecasted weather conditions and possible early thaw, there is a significant risk of flooding in the low lying areas of Skibbereen, Bantry, Clonakilty, Midleton and Youghal.”

Several county councils on the southeast are now beginning their clean up operations. However, a band of rain due to hit the region in the coming hours has the potential to trigger flooding.

A flood warning remains in place for susceptible areas such as Cork and Galway until Monday.

The Irish Coast Guard and RNLI issued a joint call for caution around coastal areas and rivers after Storm Emma. In a statement this morning, they said that high tides, onshore easterly winds and a sharp rise in river levels could pose a significant risk to public safety.

They said that although river levels have been  low, a quick thaw coupled with heavy rainfall could result in a surge in water levels without warning.

Owen Medland, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager said: “It’s been a tough few days for the country and people will want to get out and about as soon as the weather moderates. Many people rescued by RNLI lifeboat crews had no intention of entering the water in the first place.  All too often, people’s first instinct when they see someone in trouble in the water is to go in after them. If you see someone in danger, dial 112 and ask for the Coast Guard straight away. Look for a ring buoy or something that floats that they can hold on to and throw it out to them.”

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