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Sweeping blizzards in Northern Ireland shut 70 schools and leave 44,000 homes without power - Belfast City Airport re-opens

Full list of school closures as Arctic snap brings chaos to Northern ireland

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

Published 22/03/2013

<b>Gallery of Belfast Telegraph readers' snow pictures </b>Garden fox - Carrowreagh, Dundonald submitted by Carol Cinnamond March 22 2013
Gallery of Belfast Telegraph readers' snow pictures Garden fox - Carrowreagh, Dundonald submitted by Carol Cinnamond March 22 2013
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
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 Steven Braiden
The Mourne Mountains, by Yvonne
Belfast Castle. Picture by Bill Corr
Fog over Bill Corr
Hello Snow! Jean Elliott, Portrush
On the 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 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:
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

Families in Northern Ireland woke up this morning to gale force winds, lashing rain and snow drifts - with motorists being warned to take extra care as many routes are proving particularly dangerous with flash flooding.

And there’s more bad weather on the way with Northern Ireland set to be battered by more blizzards, floods and gales as the day goes on.

Send us your Snow Pictures Click Here

The adverse weather conditions have also cast doubt over tonight's World Cup clash between Northern Ireland and Russia at Windsor Park.

Kick-off is due to take place at 7.45pm.

The Irish Football Association said it would make a decision after a pitch inspection and assessment of the South Belfast stadium later this morning.

If the match does not go ahead tonight, the IFA is looking at the possibility of playing it tomorrow.

George Best City Airport's runway was closed for several hours but has since reopened, while Belfast International Airport warned that the weather could cause some disruption to flights.

A number of roads have been closed, as have some schools.

NIE, which operates the electricity network, said hundreds of additional engineers had been deployed to deal with the effects of the 50mph winds and snow, which was worst in south and eastern areas as well as on the north coast.

A spokeswoman for NIE said power lines had been hit by flying debris and affected by lying snow.

"Right across Northern Ireland the high winds and snow in the east have affected electricity supplies.

"We have quite a few faults on our high-voltage network and that is affecting the highest volume of customers.

"We will be doing our level best to restore all faults as quickly as possible."

Phone lines and electricity supplies were down for a time at the Mater Hospital in North Belfast.

Ruth Morgan, from Belfast City Airport, has advised passengers to check with their airline before travelling to the airport.

"These contact details can be found on the airport website," she said.

"The airport will be updating passengers throughout the day across social media pages on Facebook and Twitter."

The Roads Service said more than 300 staff in 130 gritters were on stand-by to salt main roads last night.

Snow drifts of up to 15.7in (40cm) have been reported.

"Most routes have been salted three times overnight with snow ploughing necessary on many routes," a spokesman said.

Meanwhile, Sean Penston, weather forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said most parts of Northern Ireland would see snowfall today.

Northern Ireland schools closed on 22 March

  • Wallace High School, Lisburn
    • Methodist College, Belfast
    • St Kieran's Nursery School, Poleglass
    • Ashgrove Nursery School, Newtownabbey
    • Assumption Grammar School, Ballynahinch
    • Harmony Hill Primary School, Lisburn
    • Antrim Grammar School, Antrim
    • Moorfields Primary School, Ballymena
    • Fair Hill PS, Kinallen
    • Ashgrove Primary, Newtownabbey
    • McKinney Primary School, Dundrod
    • Meadowbridge PS, Hillsborough
    • St Paul's Nursery Unit, Belfast
    • Academy Primary and Nursery School, Saintfield
    • Friends' School, Lisburn
    • Saintfield High School, Saintfield
    • Laurelhill Community College, Lisburn
    • St Ita's Primary School, Belfast
    • Glasswater Primary School, Crossgar
    • St Joseph's Primary School, Carryduff
    • Lagan College, Belfast
    • Glengormley High School, Newtownabbey
    • Dundela Infants' School, Belfast
    • Seaview PS, Glenarm
    • Andrews Memorial Primary School, Comber
    • St Mary's on the Hill Primary School, Glengormley
    • Ballycarrickmaddy Primary School, Ballinderry Upper Lisburn
    • Harmony Hill Primary School, Lisburn
    • Carr's Glen Primary School, Belfast
    • Brookfield School, Moira
    • Drumlins Integrated Primary School, Ballynahinch
    • Lisburn Central Primary School, Lisburn
    • Dromara Primary School, Dromara
    • Old Warren Primary/Nursery School, Lisburn
    • Tildarg Primary School, Ballyclare
    • Ligoniel Primary School, Belfast
    • Ballymacward Primary School, Lisburn
    • Seymour Hill Primary School, Dunmurry
    • Brookfield School, Moira
    • Glenbank Nursery School, Belfast
    • Clifton Special School, Bangor
    • Alexander Dickson Primary School, Ballygowan
    • Ballymacward Primary School, Lisburn
    • Nendrum College, Comber
    • Comber Primary School, Comber
    • St. Mary's Primary School, Rathfriland
    • Glengormley Integrated Primary School
    • St Patrick's PS, Saul
    • Hazelbank Primary School, Broughshane
    • Abbots Cross Primary School, Newtownabbey
    • Currie Primary School, Belfast
    • Edmund Rice College, Newtownabbey
    • Carryduff Primary School
    • Largymore Primary School, Lisburn
    • Nettlefield Primary School, Belfast
    • Sandbrook Nursery School, Belfast
    • St Bernard's Primary School, Belfast
    • Ballyclare High School
    • Ballynahinch Primary School
    • Ballycastle High School
    • Carr Primary School, Lisburn
    • Oakwood School and Assessment Centre, Belfast
    • Mossley nursery school, Newtownabbey
    • Leadhill Primary School, Belfast
    • Springhill Primary School, Belfast
    • Carrickmannon Primary School, Ballygowan
    • St Oliver Plunkett, west Belfast
    • Cedar Integrated Primary and Nursery School, Crossgar
    • Greystone Primary School, Antrim
    • St Patrick's Academy, Lisburn.
    • Moneyrea Primary, Moneyrea
    • Upper Ballyboley Primary, Ballyclare
    • St Kevin's Primary School, Belfast
    • Straid Primary School, Ballyclare
    • Glynn Primary School, Larne
    • Mullabuoy PS, Drumahoe

Tonight much of the UK will see outbreaks of sleet and snow, with accumulations as well as drifting likely particularly over

higher ground. Across western Wales and southern England there will be mainly spells of rain, heavy and prolonged at times. The exception will be the far south-west where it will be mainly dry with clear spells.

 Tomorrow will see outbreaks of sleet and snow will affect eastern and central parts of Scotland and most of England nd Wales through the day, giving some significant accumulations of snow in places. Western Scotland and southern England will stay largely dry but remain mainly cloudy.


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