Belfast Telegraph

Weather: Northern Ireland paralysed as snow chaos hits transport, schools and power supplies

By Donna Deeney

Heavy snow has caused chaos across Northern Ireland with many roads in a treacherous condition, public transport cancelled and schools closed.

Thousands of homes were also left without electricity last night as Storm Fionn approached. Hundreds remained without power on Wednesday morning.

A spokeswoman for NIE Networks said shortly before 8pm yesterday that 3,429 customers were without power, with the majority of these in the Ballyclare district.

Areas around Armagh and Ballycastle were also badly affected. One power outage in Larne affected more than 1,200 customers.

There were multiple weather-linked road crashes across Northern Ireland, with public transport hit by delays.

Translink cancelled all bus services, and bus and rail services are likely to be affected today.

A section of the M1 motorway was reduced to one lane during the evening rush hour due to the snowfall.

The NI Ambulance Service (NIAS) attended at least 13 crashes yesterday. NIAS spokesman John McPoland urged those taking to the roads to be aware of the conditions and pay attention to the weather warnings.

"If it's not necessary to go out, don't. And if you have to go out, heed the weather warnings," he said.

A crash on the A2 Belfast Road heading into Carrickfergus caused long delays ahead of rush hour yesterday, while a lorry got stuck in the snow on the Markethill Road between Newry and Armagh.

A spokesman for the PSNI urged people to avoid the road, describing it as "treacherous". However, some drivers were forced to brave the elements.

Scores abandoned their cars at park and rides before buses were cancelled.

One motorist reported that it took three-and-a-quarter hours to get from Lisburn to Newcastle - a journey that normally takes about 50 minutes.

Another said it took them two hours to get from the Malone Road in south Belfast to Larne - and 45 minutes of that was spent in the last two miles into the port town due to problems on the dual carriageway.

Farmers also helped clear rural roads blocked by heavy snowfall, while roads were salted all day and throughout the night.

A list of school closures can be found here.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph