Belfast Telegraph

Burst pipes warning as thaw begins

Tens of thousands of homes face water shortages as the big thaw burst pipes and threatened flooding around the country.

As the temperatures took a sharp rise, authorities warned cracked mains and household supplies were rapidly emptying reservoirs.

Councils nationwide have been forced to introduce overnight shutdowns and pressure restrictions over the coming days.

As many as 20,000 people in Tralee, Co Kerry, were left without water after supplies were cut off from the Lisloose reservoir, as stocks hit critically low levels.

Dublin City Council has warned most householders in the capital will suffer from restrictions being brought forward to this evening because of plunging supplies.

Extensive water mains breaks across Limerick will result in taps running dry across the county over the coming days, in what authorities branded "unprecedented" disruption to the system. Limerick County Council is working to set up alternative supplies for the worst affected areas in Abbeyfeale and Newcastle West.

In Westmeath, supplies have been shut down in Kinnegad and Athlone because of burst water mains, while parts of Mullingar have also been hit with shortages.

Authorities in Cork have appealed to owners of all vacant homes and premises to check their properties after a huge rise in water demand. Crews are working to repair burst and leaking water mains across the city, which have cut off supplies or reduced water pressure.

Kilkenny and Sligo has also been badly hit by burst pipes.

The Department of the Environment and Local Government has urged people to conserve water and check their local authority website for information on supplies. Temperatures rose dramatically to as high as 11C in some parts of the country after the sub-zero conditions over the past week.

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