Belfast Telegraph

Weather: Northern Ireland faces more snow, ice and roads chaos

BY CATE McCURRY

THE big freeze continues its grip on Northern Ireland as a yellow warning for snow and ice was extended to last throughout this morning.

Temperatures dropped to as low as -10C on Sunday night, making it the coldest night in the province this year. The cold snap caused commuter chaos yesterday morning as motorists battled treacherous roads with long delays on arterial routes.

Police responded to a high number of vehicle collisions and closed off impassable roads because of the icy conditions.

The Met Office last night issued a warning as ice was expected to form across Northern Ireland, with icy surfaces predicted to last into this morning.

"Some injuries are likely from slips and falls on these surfaces and icy patches will form on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths," a Met Office spokesman said.

Forecasters also issued a weather hazard warning in the Mourne Mountains.

The Met Office said there was a "high likelihood" of a severe chill factor on the mountains.

"Wind significantly lowers the 'feels-like' temperature relative to the actual temperature, with even moderate winds significantly adding to the chilling effect.

"Strong winds can result in a severe and debilitating wind chill many degrees below the actual temperature," the spokesman added.

"Without protection, prolonged exposure could result in frostnip or frostbite on exposed parts of the body and/or hypothermia."

Some schools remained closed because of the icy conditions while a number of exams and nativity plays were rescheduled.

Many homes around Belfast and Lisburn area had no power yesterday morning.

There was minimal disruption at Belfast City Airport as only British Airways flights from London were cancelled.

North Belfast residents voiced their concerns over the icy conditions of footpaths.

One retired 62-year-old woman told the Belfast Telegraph that many public footways were too treacherous to walk on.

"The pavements are so dangerous and someone could easily slip and break their bones," she said.

"If we drop litter we are fined £80 but yet no one is taking responsibility for the pavements.

"People are dancing on them and the elderly are scared to leave their homes.

"All they need to do is scatter sand to provide friction."

Belfast Telegraph

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