Belfast Telegraph

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

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.

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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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