Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Northern Ireland snow: 'Our family trekked for miles to safety'

Paul Connolly
Paul Connolly
Stephen Bryden stands in front of a snow drift of at Cairnhill Road outside Carrickfergus. Image sent in by Gerry Millar
A man walks on the Carnlough to Ballymena road in Co Antrim after abandoning his vehicle due to snow
NIE crews making emergency repairs to the electricity network after fierce snow storms in Northern Ireland disrupted services
A Northern Ireland Electricity engineer as heavy snow falls on the Carnlough to Ballymena
A tractor attempts to clear drifting snow in the hills above the Glens of Antrim, Northern Ireland
A tractor attempts to clear drifting snow in the hills above the Glens of Antrim, Northern Ireland
A snow covered Windsor Park in Belfast
People in Belfast battle against the elements as Northern Ireland hit by snow, sleet and strong winds
A Northern Ireland Electricity engineer as heavy snow falls on the Carnlough to Ballymena road in Co Antrim
Severe weather on the Cushendall Road Ballycastle
Basil McCrea travelling through Dromara snowfields. Image supplied by Jamie Mackrell
Basil McCrea with residents in Annahilt. Image supplied by Jamie Mackrell
Image of a car between a snow bank. Image supplied by Paul Connolly
House of Stephen Bryden on the Cairn Road outside Carrickfergus. Image sent in by Gerry Millar
Northern Ireland Electricity crews making emergency repairs to the network after fierce snow storms (Northern Ireland Electricity/PA)
Motorists battle through blizzards and drifting snow in the hills above the Glens of Antrim
Snow ended Northern Ireland's hopes of playing Russia at the weekend
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/3/2013 An unfortunate motorist on the M1 , with the weather causing problems across the country Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Gallery of Belfast Telegraph readers' snow pictures Garden fox - Carrowreagh, Dundonald submitted by Carol Cinnamond March 22 2013
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/3/2013 Clearing the way on the Belfast Road outside Crumlin Co Antrim with the weather causing problems across the country Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland- 22nd March 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Pitch inspection at Windsor Park ahead of Northern Ireland's World Cup Qualifier against Russia following a night of heavy snow. Workmen attempt to clear the pitch of snow.
Gallery of Belfast Telegraph readers' snow pictures Castle Gardens, Lisburn. By Tom Porter
Beautiful trees on divis mountains. By Pauline
A Winter Sun In Lisburn. By Tom Porter
RIVER BANN,BALLYDOWN,BANBRIDGE, BY STEPHEN McDOWELL
Snowy Fence around Ballymena. By Barry Lau - Ballymena
Belfast Telegraph readers' pics of winter weather: Icy Waterfall on January 11. By Katie S., Killarney National Park
River moyola tobermore. picture submitted by Rod Mulholand.Tobermore. 30.03.2010
Laura Henderson, south Belfast
Snow covered Brooke Park, Derry. Pablo O'Connor and his mum Laura.
My pug enjoys snow for the first time. By 'littlestirishone' Nov 2010
Kells, Antrim.Submitted by 'keveddy'
Craigavon lakes frozen and dusted with snow. By Jeremy Clifford, Craigavon Nov 2010
Frozen Cat: By Pauline Belfast
St Canice's Church Eglinton . By Willie Robb Eglinton Nov 2010
Dromore Lane. By Rod Mulholland.Tobermore. Nov 2010
Two-year-old Sophie Duffy enjoys herself after falling out of her sleigh at LIsnagelvin in Derry
First time on a sleigh. Submitted by Jenny Kordys, Drumaness Nov 2010
Stramore Road. Gilford. By 'jocorleone' Nov 2010
Adam Kerr (6) makes the most of the snow on monday as he adds the finishing touches to an igloo at the Playtrail in Londonderry.
Little Aoibheann McElhone from Claudy braves the cold to make a snowwoman
Snowman. By Rod Mulholland Nov 2010
Summit of Donard. By Brian, Portadown Caption:
Baby, it's cold outside!. By Sinead Hoben, Newry
Snow covered Brooke Park, Derry
Foraging for food , Ballyclare. By Joan Wilson
Broadwater Canal Aghalee. By Michelle Myles, Maghaberry
Swans on the canal, Ballynahinch. By Pauline Rainey. Dec 2010
Sammy & Harvey enjoying the snow by Miriam Taylor, Belfast
Mournes snowboarding. Submitted by Gav
My chocolate labrador Levi . Jason Davidson Ballymoney
Craigavon Lakes 1/12/10. Brian Portadown
Spelga Dam 1.12.10 Taken by Ronan Sherry
My Son Zack enjoying the snow. Dec 2010. By Trish Taylor in Derry
Craigavon Lake. By J O'Neill. Dec 2010
Silent Valley from Slieve Lamagan, Mourne Mtns - by Jon, Portadown
Fiend or foe.... By Robin McCormick. Dec 2010
Looking towards Slieve Binnian, Mourne Mtns - by Jon, Portadown
A red deer stag crosses the road as it comes down from the hills to the River Clunie near Braemar to forage for food as snow continues to cover much of the UK.
Dawn on the wing, Belfast International Airport...by Steven Braiden
The Mourne Mountains, by Yvonne
Belfast Castle. Picture by Bill Corr
Fog over Belfast...by Bill Corr
Hello Snow!...by Jean Elliott, Portrush
On the hill...by Bill Corr, Belfast
The Cave Hill by Bill Corr
Paula Cuesta from Segovia assists with Winter Graduation arrangements at Queen's. Picture by Barbara Groves
Coolnasillagh, Co. Derry. By Joe O'Kane
Tropical palm in Portrush. By Jean Elliott
Co Tyrone.... lovin it. Submitted by Ann. Dec 2010
Julie-Anne and Noel enjoying our Tenth Wedding anniversary at the Sleive Donard
Chess on the Lawn, Farnham Estate, Cavan by Paul in Belfast
Niall McCaughan. Cannons on the Derry Walls
Tim, Carrickfergus ... Portrush harbour
Brian McCalden... Horses Glebe Road Glengormely
Brian McCalden, Glengormley ... Horses Glebe Road
Killygullen Lisnaskea. Taken by Eleanor Kerr
Garden Carwood Ave. Our Stephanie by Mervyn Ellis
Carole, Banbridge .... Home from school!
Knockagh monument...by Ttim, Carrickfergus
Brian, Portadown: River Bann 7/12/10
Frosty afternoon Templepatrick. By Roy. Dec 2010
Paul in Belfast ... The White Garden, Farnham Estate, Cavan. Dec 2010
Paul in Belfast ... Frozen Steps, Farnham Estate, Cavan
Paul in Belfast ....The Silent Courtyard, Farnham Estate, Cavan. Dec 2010
Emma Carson, Garrison, County Fermanagh .... Max the dog is ready for a snowball fight
Donemana by Isobel Brown. Dec 2010
My son Martin and snowman. By Jackie in Crumlin
Santa arrives in Derry early by Gary Nash. Dec 2010
Alison Lynas... Wacky Races at Burntollet Bridge
Gavin Miskelly, Darragh Cross, Mourne Mountains, Co. Down
Having fun when their school is closed, Matthew and Owen Irvine, Maghaberry. Dec 2010
Newtownabbey frosted web Roy. Dec 2010
Frosty afternoon by Roy. Dec 2010
sterling newtownabbeyCaption: frosty afternoonYour email: roy36@hotmail.co.uk
David Montgomery, Killyleagh Co. Down. Delamont Country Park at Sunset. Dec 2010
Frank, from Limavady. Benone looking towards Donegal. Dec 2010
The Marquis of Downshire Memorial, Hillsborough by Graham Construction
David McKendrick's snowy Movanagher lock. Dec 2010
Snowboarding in the Mournes. By Shagster. Dec 2010
Looking through my windscreen at the ice. By Mark Johnston, Bangor. Dec 2010
Jo, Dromore Ghostly abode!
Rod Mulholland .... Tobermore church of Ireland.
Robert Telford .... Rays Wood, Antrim. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore. Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010

It was an impressive sight. A near mile-long road blocked by multiple snowdrifts, some up to 10ft or more high. Between the drifts, the snow was impressively deep, though beguilingly crisp.

 

It was mid morning on Saturday in the Antrim hills between Carrick and Ballyclare. With no water or electricity for 24 hours, virtually no heating, and mobile phones either dead or dying, we decided to leave home and find sanctuary with relatives.

 

The main problem was how to get out. A Challenger tank couldn’t have navigated our road. The only option was by foot. Full ski gear on, and overnight things packed into rucksacks, we set out.

 

There was another route, just a quarter of a mile and blocked by equally towering drifts. But that would have led us to a three-mile march along a snow-bound main and we did not want to put ourselves at the risk of lorries and cars slip-sliding its narrow and winding route.

 

So we took the longer part of the road. There were four of us (eldest child being away on a school trip) plus dog. Through the snow and arctic winds we plodded, clambering over the drifts, at times waist deep and often standing high above the hedgerows.

 

It was tough going, but spirits were high. Nothing stirred in the surrounding fields, but we knew that in many were new-born lambs, many of which were not going to survive this disastrous cold snap.

 

Finally, after almost an hour we reached the local village, some three hundred feet down the valley. Here, friendly tractors and ploughs had at least cleared single-lane routes.

 

Another hour later, we were at a main highway, and in a car being whisked to Larne, where to our amazement not a single snowflake had fallen.

 

Yesterday morning we borrowed a car and drove back home through narrow roads cut through walls of snow towering up to 16ft. A friendly farmer had unblocked the lane we live on, and our fantastic neighbours, Jim, Janice and family, helped us dig out our cars.

 

The electric was back on and the water too, although reduced to a trickle. Things have started to return to normal, although the landscape is scarred and blasted, like some sort of strange Arctic battleground.

 

 

Send your weather reports, photographs and videos to us by email digital.editorial@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

For updates on road closures and weather follow us on Twitter at @BelTel

Snow videos

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