Belfast Telegraph

Authorities may restrict water supplies following Storm Emma

Supplies have been depleted after some of the worst blizzards to hit the country for decades.

Water supplies could be restricted at night as the Irish authorities address severe pressure on treatment plants following Storm Emma.

Burst pipes and people leaving taps on to avoid freezing as well as increased demand has depleted supplies after some of the worst blizzards to hit the country for decades.

Around 18,000 people have run dry, mostly in Wexford in the South East, and thousands more already face curbs on use, Irish Water said.

Householders are urged to conserve water National Emergency Coordination Group

The Greater Dublin area saw an increase in demand of over 10% from Friday to Sunday.

A statement from the National Emergency Coordination Group said: “Our main concern today is the increase in demand across the country which is putting severe pressure on our water treatment plants.

“Despite having plants working at peak output, storage was depleted by 30 million litres.

“Similar pressures are occurring elsewhere and if not reversed will lead to pressure reductions and the possibility of night-time restrictions.”

Irish Water is reporting about 18,000 people are without water, of which over 11,000 are in Wexford. Currently, 66,000 people have restricted supply.

The Group added: “Householders are urged to conserve water. In addition, the public is asked to visit premises which have been unattended over recent days to check for running taps and burst pipes.”

The organisation’s chairman Sean Hogan said it would not be a normal Monday in many areas and urged employers and employees to consider staggering opening and start times to reduce peak volumes of commuter traffic as well as options for working from home.

Forecasters are warning of localised flooding as rising temperatures cause snow to melt.

The coordination group added: “Melting snow may result in localised surface water ponding, where drains and gulleys are blocked and people are advised to watch for accumulations of melt water which could lead to flooding.”

Met Eireann’s Orange alert has been extended until noon on Monday as widespread lying snow and ice produces hazardous conditions.

It is valid in Leinster and counties Waterford, Cavan, Cork, Monaghan and Tipperary.

Met Eirean said: “Lying snow and ice will lead to continued hazardous conditions and melting will lead to localised spot flooding, but the general trend is for improving conditions.

“Highest temperatures three to six degrees.”

Gardai have reported flooding in Cork.

Around 1,200 members of the Defence Forces have tackled the extreme weather in recent days.

Soldiers supported paramedics and doctors, transferred patients and cleared snow and ice at critical locations.

The Defence Forces deployed 4x4s and snow ploughs.

A statement said: “The focus of Defence Forces operations at present are in support of the essential services provided by the HSE.

“Our teams are providing doctor/paramedic access support, patient transfer and logistical support in clearing snow and ice at critical locations.”

Most were deployed in Wexford, Kildare and Laois.

A Yellow snow-ice warning is also in place for Connacht, Donegal, Clare, Kerry and Limerick, with Met Eireann saying lying snow and ice will continue to cause hazardous conditions.

ESB Networks has said thousands of homes, businesses and farms were without power over the weekend, most in south Co Wexford after days of high winds and heavy snow.

The focus of Defence Forces operations at present are in support of the essential services provided by the HSE Defence Forces

Some of the worst blizzards in decades hit Ireland in recent days as a result of the mixture of freezing Siberian air and Storm Emma from the Atlantic.

It forced the country into shut down from which it is still recovering.

Most public transport services returned to normal on Sunday following a nationwide shutdown.

Airports have reopened.

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