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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 6 December, 2019
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Remember this? The NRA has 211,000 tonnes of salt ready to go this winter

Whatever about snow, flooding is likely in the coming weeks.

The M7 Motorway outside Naas, County Kildare following a snow storm.
The M7 Motorway outside Naas, County Kildare following a snow storm.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

SIMON COVENEY HAS said that the Government has learned its lesson from a lack of preparedness for severe weather in previous winters.

The Agriculture Minister was speaking at the ‘Be Winter-Ready’ event in Dublin this afternoon, where he co-launched a website and booklet that provides advice for people and businesses as we move into the winter months.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said that the Government currently has access to 211,000 tonnes of salt should we be faced with snow storms that have in the past ground the country to a halt.

A spokesperson for the National Roads Authority (NRA) said that €1.8 million has been spent on ensuring we have enough salt for our roads.

Donohoe said that this represents a “very significant increase” in the amount of salt available as during the last major snow “emergency” we need just over 100,000 tonnes.

Coveney said it was appropriate that the Government, alongside the NRA, Met Éireann, the AA and other bodies including Bus Éireann, was launching ‘Winter Ready’ on a day where there was an orange weather warning in place.

He said that the Government was “better prepared this year than ever before”, but added: “That’s not to say that’s there’s not still lessons to be learned.”

Flooding

Meteorologist Gerald Fleming said that he couldn’t predict weather beyond the next three to four weeks, but has concerns about flooding.

He noted that rainfall so far this month has been double the average, stating: “Flooding is certainly the major risk I can see over the coming weeks.”

Fleming added that the South and East of the country were particularly likely to be affected.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny wasn’t at the event, but released a video about the ‘Be Winter Ready’ campaign.

Source: MerrionStreetNews/YouTube

At the launch, Junior Environment Minister Paudie Coffey said that local authorities had plans in place to help homeless people during periods harsh weather conditions.

He noted that Environment minister Alan Kelly was chairing a working group committee with Dublin City Council to address acute homelessness and emergency responses in severe weather in the capital.

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Órla Ryan

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