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Dublin: 10 °C Sunday 17 February, 2019
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'Tomorrow is not a normal day' - People urged to use public transport, parts of east remain in 'full crisis'

Temperatures are expected to be between 3 and 6 degrees today.

Screenshot 2018-03-04 at 13.58.58 Chair of the NECG Sean Hogan Source: NECG

Updated 2.35pm

THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY Coordination Group (NECG) has given its latest update on the situation around the country post Storm Emma, and the central message is that some areas are suffering more than others.

Chair of the NECG Sean Hogan said that areas of west Wicklow, north Kildare, and Wexford remain deeply impacted by the effects of the blizzard.

“All agencies are still working flat out,” Hogan said. “Parts of the east remain in full crisis management mode.”

Hogan said that decisions as regards what schools open tomorrow will be taken on a case by case basis, adding that it is “very unlikely” that it will be possible for schools to open in the worst affected areas.

He said that the “morning commute will be bad also” and urged the public to either consider working from home or to use public transport.

He also urged employers and businesses to stagger their opening times tomorrow in order to ease the pressure on the transport networks.

The motorway network is now open, he said, but that certain parts, such as the M7 at Naas in Kildare, are operating on a single lane basis. He stressed that drivers should avoid the M7 in that area where possible.

An update from Irish Water stressed that an increase in demand is the current cause for concern, particularly in the Dublin area, where demand has increased by 20% and great pressure has been placed on treatment plants as a result.

12,000 people remain without water at present, the vast majority in the Wexford area.

Jim Casey of the OPW reiterated his organisation’s advice for the public and farmers to avoid rivers, especially smaller and mountainous catchments.

Earlier, Met Éireann extended the Status Orange snow ice weather warning that had been in place up until midday for a further 24 hours.

The extension is due to the hazards offered by ‘widespread lying snow’ according to the state weather service.

The yellow alert which had been in place has also been extended until tomorrow at noon.

The orange alert applies to all of Leinster and counties Cavan, Monaghan, Cork, Tipperary and Waterford. The yellow alert applies to all of Connacht and counties Donegal, Clare, Kerry and Limerick.

Met Éireann had predicted that today will be mostly cloudy with outbreaks of rain as the snow continues to melt across the country.

snow 901_90538640 Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie via RollingNews.ie

Temperatures are expected to be between 3 and 6 degrees nationwide which will help speed up the thawing process. However, there are fears that a quicker thaw may result in large-scale flooding.

The forecast for today reads:

“Mostly cloudy today with scattered outbreaks of rain. The rain will be persistent at times – especially near east and south coasts, and may be of sleet over high ground. Temperatures will recover to maxima ranging from 3 to 6 degrees.

Lying snow and ice will continue to melt resulting in localised surface water flooding.

Tomorrow is expected to be warmer again. Most places will be dry apart from passing light showers and highest temperatures will be between 5 and 8 degrees.

Rivers are rising slowly due to melting snow the public has been urged to avoid “rivers, waterways and coastal areas”.

Jim Casey of the OPW explained  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 note that the rising water is a potential threat,” he said, and he urged “local authorities to monitor water levels and be prepared for flooding”.

Additional reporting Cianan Brennan

Read: ‘We’re into recovery mode’ – public urged to remain cautious as Storm Emma cleanup kicks into gear

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