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The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, in its role as the Lead Government Department for coordinating the response to severe weather, continues to monitor the situation.
As the immediate response phase to this severe weather event has ceased or is being wound down in all areas the National Emergency Coordination Group (NECG) has been stood down after being in continuous daily session, including twice daily as required, since Monday 26 February.
The Irish Water Crisis Management Team is continuing to meet to coordinate the response in relation to water services. The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government is attending these meetings. While the numbers of people affected by disruptions and restrictions to water supply are generally decreasing day by day, the Irish Water Crisis Management Team will continue to manage their overall response while this is necessary.
All Local Authority Crisis Management Teams have also now been stood down reflecting the improved conditions. However, some conditions remain in places, particularly in Wicklow, where the County Council is managing significant snow clearing operations in remote areas with the assistance of the Defence Forces. The advice to the public to be extremely careful when using the roads remains in place.
Frost will clear quickly this morning in the bright conditions but fog may linger for a time. There will be good sunshine at first but cloud will gradually increase and rain will develop across the south of the country in the early afternoon. Highs of 7 to 9 degrees with, southeasterly winds slowly freshening.
Rain will gradually push northwards this evening with some heavier outbreaks overnight. Lowest temperatures of 3 or 4 degrees in moderate southeasterly winds.
Saturday morning will be wet for many places. The rain will begin to clear from the south in the afternoon with the skies gradually brightening. Highs of 11 or 12 degrees as southerly winds freshen with the clearance.
Sunday will be a cloudy day with showery outbreaks of rain, heavy at times across the southwest of Munster. Highs of 9 to 11 degrees.
Irish Water reports that the national picture has improved significantly with only a few small pockets remaining with no water supply. 2,450 customers remain without a water supply, 30,216 customers have a restricted supply and there are now no customers on boil water notices relating to storm Emma. One do not drink notice is in operation in Fethard serving 12,000 customers however the water treatment plant concerned is scheduled to be back in operation on Monday 19 March.
Irish Water and the Greater Dublin Region Local Authorities continue to make good progress on finding and fixing leaks and some local restrictions may still be experienced in a number of areas because of the revised network arrangement.
While conditions have improved significantly across the country over the last week, the major urban housing authority areas will keep their cold weather arrangements under ongoing review
In particular, the Dublin Region Homeless Executive will keep contingency beds in the system for the time being and will continue to work with service providers in an effort to assess, and provide for, the needs of those homeless individuals that presented to services during the severe weather.
All motorways and national roads are open. Normal winter gritting services were carried out in parts of the county last night due to some frosty conditions, however no issues are reported.
All public transport services are operating. There are a small number of diversions or curtailments. Passengers are advised to leave additional time for their journeys and to check operator websites for full details.
Our services are operating as normal today. There are only a small number of routes that have curtailments.
Detailed Luas Customer information is available on https://www.luas.ie/travel-updates
For updates Local Link offices, details can be found on locallink.ie or on 01 879 8300.
most private operators will be operating Monday. Intending passengers should check with travel bus operator or www.transportforireland.ie
Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Ireland West airports are operating as normal
Operating as normal.
See here for advice for Road Users.
1. The OPW continues to closely monitor river levels nationally.
2. River Level Situation
2.1 Some of the river levels on the smaller, steeper catchments in the East of the country have recorded small rises in the past 24 hours of between 1cm and 5cm, for example the Dodder and Glyde catchments.
2.2 The Owenavarragh in County Wexford, has fallen further in the past 24 hours, by approximately 20cm.
2.3 The public and farmers are advised to stay away from rivers and watercourses in the coming days and through the weekend, as river levels may rise further, especially on smaller, steeper or mountainous catchments in the East and South due to snow melt and rainfall.
2.4 Local authorities are advised to continue to monitor river levels (see also: www.waterlevel.ie) closely in their respective areas and be prepared to respond in the event of localised flooding.
Where possible schools, colleges of further education and third level institutions will re-open on Monday.
However, decisions will be made by schools, colleges of further education and third level institutions on an individual basis depending on the circumstances and conditions in their area.
As always, schools must ensure the safety of those in their care and give due consideration to this when making a decision to re-open.
The position regarding school transport services will be regularly monitored over the weekend. It is expected that Bus Éireann will be in a position to advise schools tomorrow evening on school transport routes that will not operate on Monday and schools will contact the families involved. However, some decisions on individual schools transport routes may still not be confirmed until Monday morning given changing local conditions. Where possible, information on routes not running will also be provided on the Bus Éireann website.
For schools which require repairs, any non-State owned schools should in the first instance contact their Insurance Providers before contacting the Department regarding emergency funding, for any State owned buildings school authorities are free to apply for funding under the Department’s Emergency Works Scheme. The schemes circular and application form are available on the Departments website here. For phone queries the number to contact is 057-9325379/5414.
The Minister for Education and Skills would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all those principals, teachers, students and parents who co-operated fully with the safety measures in place over the past days.
Updates available on twitter
The HSE National Crisis Management Team (NCMT) met again today, Monday 5th March 2018, to assess progress on the restoration plan for health services in the aftermath of Storm Emma.
The HSE wishes to thank the public for their ongoing patience, understanding and cooperation as we continue to work to restore our health services to normal levels. The areas of Kildare, Wexford and Wicklow are still experiencing difficulties with access following the storm and we would ask people to bear in mind that the recovery of services in these locations will be slower.
During the course of Storm Emma we saw a 41% reduction in attendances at emergency departments due to be people being unable to travel. Consequently, we are already seeing a sharp increase in ED attendances this morning with 507 people awaiting admission to hospital. It should be noted that there are regional variations as not all areas of the country were hit as badly by the storm. For example, in Letterkenny there were 5 people waiting for admission this morning compared to 45 in Cork University Hospital.
It has also proved difficult to discharge patients who were ready to leave hospital last week. This has led to a large number of patients being delayed in hospital. We hope patients and their families understand the reasons for this and we will endeavour to facilitate their discharge as soon as possible this week. It is anticipated that over the coming week, as patients are gradually discharged, coupled with an expected increase in emergency department attendances, there will be delays in admissions with resultant increased waiting times in emergency departments.
The HSE is asking people to consider whether they really need to go to an emergency department and if there is an alternative service they can avail of. For example, if your injury is minor in nature, where you might require stitches or where you have sprained your ankle, the HSE has a number of Minor Injury Units around the country. See www.hse.ie/injuryunits for information on your local unit.
We are conscious of the massive effort put in by all staff, both frontline and support staff, to keep services open during the storm and to ensure that those most in need received treatment. These staff will now need a period of rest and this will impact staff rosters and service delivery over the coming week. This may also impact on service provision at a local level in the coming days. Hospitals and Community Healthcare Organisations will be doing everything minimise the impact of this at local level.
It should be noted that there are regional variations as not all areas of the country were hit as badly by the storm. In this regard, we are asking people to consider the following:
We envisage that the full recovery will extend beyond next week as all our services try to get back to normal operations. For those patients with appointments we will provide further guidance as we assess the impact of the severe weather in the coming days. Further information will be made available through our communications channels www.hse.ie/weatherwarning and @HSELive
Most agricultural roofs are made either entirely or partly from fragile materials making carrying out any work at height on them a significant risk.
A high proportion of deaths are caused by falls through fragile roof coverings. Any work on fragile roofs, however trivial it may seem, must be carefully assessed, planned and supervised.
Factors to be taken into account when assessing the risk include:
Always assume all roofing materials are fragile unless confirmed otherwise by a competent person
The freezing and icy conditions will make even simple tasks, like navigating walkways and car parks hazardous. The likelihood of experiencing a slip, trip or fall in the workplace can double in icy conditions. The HSA is urging that walkways and car parks are treated with grit or salt to provide safe walkways and the more dangerous areas are cordoned off.
An Post will be working through the night to ensure a return to full national delivery, collection and Post Office services wherever possible on Monday March 5th, subject to the safety of customers and staff.
It's likely that road conditions in some areas will continue to impede access and disrupt services.
We'll continue to monitor conditions locally and we'll do everything possible to resume normal Retail, Letter and Parcel services for customers.
Local authorities reported that outdoor and ploughing and salting crews are active in all areas and have worked continuously overnight and since 5am this morning in very difficult conditions in many locations. The intention is to keep all priority routes open. No major issues were reported.
The local authorities have been working with homeless NGOs through the last 24 hours to ensure that all rough sleepers have shelter available. Sufficient capacity is available for all those requiring these services and they will continue to operate on a 24 hour basis until the spell of cold weather passes.
If you see anyone homeless or sleeping rough, please report it here.
The Twitter handle for the DRHE is Homeless Dublin Twitter Account
Emergency services are taking a range of steps to help ensure fire and ambulance services cover for citizens as well ensuring the safety of their staff. As much as possible, staff are being facilitated by remaining on premises, revised shift arrangements and transport where possible. The 999/112 service remains in place but the public are being urged to request the attendance of Emergency Services in extreme circumstances only and to be aware of likely extended response times. As always, a risk assessment will be used to prioritise cases arising.
“Updates are posted on our website here.
Following on from Storm Emma the Department wishes to confirm that all offices have reopened as of Monday 5th March 2018.
Customers and staff should exercise due caution on routes where care is required.
We would like to extend our thanks to everyone for your commitment and patience in recent days particularly those who provided essential and emergency services.
The Department also wishes to confirm that all social welfare payments will issue as per usual this week. A small number of customers paid by cheque may experience a delay in payments where areas remain inaccessible. If affected, customers are reminded that their local Intreo Centre or DEASP office can provide advice and assistance. See Local Office Contact Numbers”
Following on from the cold weather events of last week and Storm Emma in particular, the impacts of which have varied considerably across the country, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine has been working constructively with industry to get farming up and running and fully operational as quickly as possible.
All Department offices are open, including those in the South East, where the effects of last week were felt most acutely. Departmental staff are on the ground, actively monitoring the situation locally, and in the south east in particular. Efforts are focussed on coordinating with other stakeholders in this regard, to ensure that appropriate and timely advice is available to farmers.
The Department continues to work with other Departments and agencies in the National Emergency Coordination Group (NECG). At the meeting of the NECG today reports indicated that most of the country is returning to normal but that challenges remain in a number of areas. As the country recovers from the storm, the Department asks all stakeholders to remain vigilant in respect of the issues outlined below.
The impacts of Storm Emma have varied considerably across the country, with areas along the east and south most impacted. Farm safety remains of paramount concern.
Whilst the problem of freezing water pipes has eased, care needs to be taken as burst pipes are revealed.
Care should be maintained around the farmyard when clearing up after the storm. Falls represent the single biggest threat during any clean-up period after such storms and appropriate care needs to be taken to avoid such occurrences.
Any attempts to remove snow from roofs of farm buildings should be avoided. Repairs to buildings and equipment should be carried by appropriately qualified personnel. With a thaw there will be significant volumes of slush and water to deal with, so it will be particularly important to ensure drains and gullies are clear to prevent flooding of tanks.
The Department’s 24-hour animal welfare helpline continues to be monitored and this will remain the case over the coming days. Members of the public with any concerns can contact the Department’s helpline on:
Call Save 0761 064408 or 01-6072379.
There have been 40 calls to the helpline since Wednesday, all of which have been appropriately responded to, via channels such as the Department Regional Veterinary Offices.
Meat plants: Subject to local conditions being suitable, most plants that had planned resumption of operations today have done so. This follows on from a number of plants which operated at the weekend where local conditions facilitated such an approach.
Milk collections have been curtailed in certain areas due to access difficulties. Milk collection has now resumed throughout the majority of relevant locations throughout the country. However, the situation remains challenging in some areas in the South East and on higher ground. The Department is coordinating with the dairy industry, and with other Government agencies, to expedite collections.
Detailed updates with respect to the weather issues pertaining to farmers and other agriculture related stakeholders will be available on the Department website www.agriculture.gov.ie
The Twitter handle for Agriculture is
In the aftermath of storm Emma and the heavy snowfalls around the country the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI have issued a joint call for people to exercise caution and remain vigilant around the coast and near rivers. High tides, onshore easterly winds and a sharp rise in river levels could pose a significant risk to public safety.
Although river levels have been relatively low, a quick thaw coupled with heavy rainfall could result in a surge in water levels without warning. High tides assisted by non prevailing winds as forecasted for the East coast may result in flooding and extreme danger on exposed piers and coastlines. The public should exercise caution and stay away from piers, harbours, seawalls and riverbanks.
Irish Coast Guard Search and Rescue Operations Manager Gerard O’Flynn said:
"The Department of Children & Youth Affairs would like to sincerely thank all Childcare Providers and School Age Services for their diligence and cooperation during Storm Emma.
Provisions are in place for childcare providers to receive payments for children registered for government subvention schemes during closure periods to the adverse weather conditions. Childcare providers are completing the relevant paperwork via Pobal.
On Monday, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone extended the deadline for the current Capital Grant application process for early years services to Wednesday 14th March to accomadate childcare services who had lost days to prepare their applications due to Storm Emma.
The DCYA continues to work closely with stakeholders, in particular City and County Childcare Committees to monitor the situation on the ground regarding any damage caused by the recent adverse weather. A very small number of services in areas such as West Wicklow remain closed today (Tuesday) but are expected to reopen shortly."
The aftermath of Storm Emma has had a significant impact on the water network around the country as the extreme cold damaged water treatment plants and has led to significant burst in pipes. The condition of our pipes, particularly in Dublin where the average age is 80 years, has contributed to the widespread outages and water restrictions experienced by customers all over the country.
In the Greater Dublin Area Irish Water saw an increase of over 10% in demand from Friday 2 March to Sunday 4 March. Despite having our plants working at peak output, storage of water in the reservoirs was significantly depleted. Demand is continuing to rise and our reservoir levels are low. There is not enough water in our reservoirs to meet the current levels of demand.
Irish Water and the six Greater Dublin Region Local Authorities had to act to protect homes and businesses in Dublin and avoid widespread outages in the capital.
On Monday 5 March across the Dublin region, the demand for drinking water outstripped the supply by 28 mega litres which is the equivalent of the daily usage of the population of Cork City.
The decision to reduce pressure across the Dublin network for a 12 hour period on Monday evening was one that was not taken lightly but Irish Water needed to ensure the city continued to function.
Working with the four Local Authorities, Irish Water assessed the impact of the 12 hour reduction in pressure on our reservoirs. While some improvement has been realised, we have a way to go. This is essential to allow reservoirs to refill as repairs to bursts and leaks are underway.
Irish Water are aware that some people were without water entirely on Monday night and into Tuesday morning so Irish Water reviewed this situation with water engineers across the Dublin Councils on Tuesday to see how we can minimise this impact. The movement of water around the network is not an exact science. Forty valves have to be adjusted and the network is old and in poor condition. Irish Water leveraged the best expertise across the utility and the four Dublin Councils to move water around the network while protecting hospitals on the network.
It is hoped that those who were impacted most were not impacted as much on Tuesday night when the restrictions were in place from 8pm to 6am. Irish Water took feedback from customers it is hoped that this will allow the network to fill fully again earlier in the morning to allow for morning showers.
Data indicates that the reduction in pressure is working. Reservoirs are recovering very slowly but we do have a long way to go. Crews are out all across Dublin including specialist leak detection crews are finding bursts to direct crews to.
The Irish Water contact centre is available during 24/7 on 1850 278278 for customers to report outages. Customers are urged to report loss of service or visible leaks to assist Irish Water to identify bursts.
ESB Networks is preparing for snow and freezing temperatures forecast this week. Damage may occur to the electricity network and ESB Networks has a full emergency response in place to address any power outages. The electricity network is built, and continually upgraded, to withstand events such as these, but extreme weather, heavy snowfalls and freezing temperatures can affect underground and overhead electricity cables and wires.
Snow may also cause trees and branches to fall across or lean onto electricity lines. Please do not approach or touch any fallen wires or the tree or branch that they are touching. Please report these dangerous situations immediately by calling 1850 372 999.
Eirgrid are not anticipating any significant issues. As increased electricity demand is expected, additional generation capacity has been brought on line and plant on maintenance is being returned to service. Eirgrid's back-up control centre is being activated. Gale force winds, blizzards or thunderstorms may cause some outages towards the end of the week.
The oil companies have indicated that there is sufficient volumes of Kerosene and gas oil, used for home heating to maintain normal supply levels over the cold spell.
This was the position on gas from Commission of Regulation of Utilities (CRU) as of lunchtime yesterday. According to Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) “there are no current issues with the physical operation or gas supplies at the 3 system entry points. We did raise the Interconnector pressures over the weekend as a precautionary measure and will continue to monitor these over the week. Wind generation is high and forecasted to remain so until Thursday so at this time there is no security of supply concern.”
Mobile infrastructure outages are monitored by Comreg, who are in constant communication with the network operators. No significant disruption is anticipated to mobile networks during the cold weather. However, power outages may cause disruption to the mobile networks. If any such outages occur, the restoration of power is prioritised.
The Defence Forces continue to provide assistance following requests from the principal response agencies.
Civil Defence are deployed through their local authorities and will continue to provide assistance in accordance with the procedures for dealing with severe weather as set out in the Framework for Major Emergency Management.
The Workplace Relations Commission, which is an office of this Department, offers advice to both employers and employees on dealing with a situation whereby an employee cannot attend work due to unforeseen circumstances. It is however important that both parties are aware that, in general, there is no statutory entitlement for an employee to be paid where they cannot attend for work because of extreme weather.
Any more beneficial arrangement is a matter for agreement between the employer and the employee, but equally employers are encouraged to take a long-term view of the working relationship.
As companies consult with their employees, customers, suppliers and providers in the coming days, the following links may be useful:
Office of Emergency Planning : This website provides updates from the Government’s National Emergency Co-ordination Group. For further information Tel 01 237 3800 or LoCall 1890 252736.
Workplace Relations Commission: The Workplace Relations Commission provides advice on Absence during extreme weather events. If you wish to seek additional information on your workplace situation you may speak with an Information Officer of the Workplace Relations Commission at 1890 80 80 90 or 059 917 8990, Monday to Friday 9:30am to 5pm. The service is available for both employers and employees.
Health and Safety Authority: Please contact the Health and Safety Authority if you wish to report any work-related safety risks on: 1890 289 389 between 9:00am to 12:30pm, Monday to Friday.
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection provides information around social welfare benefits.
The International Protection Office has cancelled all interviews for Wednesday 28 February, Thursday 1 March and Friday 2 March 2018. Applicants are being notified separately. The IPO will be in touch with applicants concerning new interview dates as soon as possible.
All INIS offices have now reopened. Any customers who had appointments cancelled on 28th February – 2nd March will be contacted within the next 48 hours to reschedule. We ask customers to await contact from INIS in relation to the rescheduling of appointments.
All Courts and Court Offices will reopen for business as usual on Monday 5 March.
All visits to prisons have been cancelled for Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd March. More information is available at The Irish Prisons Website
The Wexford Probation Service office is closed on Monday morning due to adverse weather and road conditions. All other Probation offices are open but please phone ahead before calling.
During the Red weather alert, the IFCO will be closed.
A Status Orange Snow-ice warning remains in place for Leinster until 10.00 am tomorrow (Tuesday 6 March 2018).
The Department’s Wexford Office will reopen tomorrow (Tuesday). People making plans to travel to work in Wexford should have regard to updates from local media and local authorities on any continuing safety issues in their localities. Where local conditions make it unsafe to travel, staff should notify their line manager.
National Parks and Nature Reserves in Wicklow and Wexford remain closed to the public pending inspections to confirm that they are safe to re-open. Arrangements for NPWS staff at these locations will be communicated though National Parks and Wildlife Service management.
Information on weather developments and related safety warnings will continue to be made available on www.gov.ie/stormemma and through the National Emergency Coordination Group and the Office of Emergency Planning (www.twitter.com/EmergencyIE), and national and local media. Public transport providers are also issuing updates on their services. Members of the public, and staff, should have regard to local conditions in making plans for journeys to or from the Department’s offices and facilities as they reopen. In particular, all of the motorway network may not yet be re-opened and commuters are being encouraged to avail of public transport where possible tomorrow. Where local conditions make it unsafe to travel, staff should notify their line manager.
Information in relation to the status of National Cultural Institutions is available via websites and/or Twitter accounts:
Offices of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will reopen tomorrow, Monday 5 March. The Passport Service will prioritise service to those travelling early in the week and we would ask those who are travelling later in the week to bear with us and as far as possible not to contact us until 6 March.