Bitter weather for the New Year

Bitter weather for the New Year

Forecasters warned of a bitterly cold start to the New Year as flooding, ice and snow caused disruption across the country today.

Met Eireann said temperatures could plummet to minus 12 degrees in coming nights, with the big chill expected to continue well into next week.

Meanwhile, motorists were urged to take extra care as counties hit by heavy overnight rain and strong winds dealt with flooding and fallen debris on the roads.

AA Roadwatch said flooding and heavy surface water was particularly bad in Co Cork, with icy conditions in Co Wicklow and parts of Connacht and Ulster.

Train services into and out of Dublin’s Heuston Station were also delayed by up to 40 minutes because of flood water at Hazelhatch in Co Kildare.

Met Eireann forecaster Jerry Scully said people should brace themselves for more treacherous weather, with sleet and snow showers in coastal areas.

“It’s going to be bitterly cold everywhere over the next few nights,” he added.

“The temperatures could get down as low as minus 11 or 12 degrees in inland places away from coastal areas – possibly in Western or Midland or South-western areas.

Mr Scully said the cold snap is set to continue for the next five to 10 days.

“We’ve got a very cold air mass streaming down from Arctic regions and it’s very reluctant to leave us,” he added.

Fine Gael TD Denis Naughten called on the Government to co-ordinate an immediate national response to the weather conditions.

“The lack of any centralised planning has seen local authorities run out of salt and grit, people marooned in their homes, and roads so treacherous that emergency service vehicles have been involved in accidents,” he said.

“Someone in Government should wake up to the serious nature of this crisis.”

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