LOCAL authorities and emergency services in Limerick have warned that the public should remain at home for the duration of tomorrow’s red weather alert.
The Local Co-ordination Group (LCG) comprising of Limerick City and County Council, the HSE, An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces met this morning to discuss and implement plans for the severe weather affecting the region.
The group is now recommending that, due to the status red alert for Snow and Ice in Limerick and the rest of Munster, people need to be at home or indoors by 4pm tomorrow, Thursday.
In addition the Local Co-ordination Group is advising that members of the public should only travel if absolutely necessary on Thursday up to the start of the red alert at 4pm.
Met Eireann is forecasting that blizzard-like conditions will develop in heavy snow and strong easterly winds on Thursday evening. This will continue Thursday night and Friday morning giving significant snow drifts in many areas.
The red alert is valid from 4pm Thursday to 12 noon on Friday.
The government has recommended that all schools in Munster remain closed for the rest of the week. Colleges in the region are also closed – as are creches.
Bus Éireann has said it will not operate any services in Leinster or Munster tomorrow.
The group will remain in constant contact to monitor the situation and will issue further updates as necessary, it said.
“The winter maintenance programme of gritting strategic routes around Limerick will continue this evening and tonight,” a spokesperson said, noting that the council’s 15 gritters will be out from 7pm this evening and overnight covering routes that carry nearly 85% of all Limerick’s traffic.
Six snow ploughs are on standby to clear strategic routes is necessary.
Council offices will close to the public at 1pm tomorrow until Monday, but essential services will be maintained and Customer Services can still be contacted on 061-556000 between 9am and 5pm or the out of hours number (emergency only) on 061-417833.
It is expected that only only essential health services will be available over the period.
The local authority is again highlighting the need for members of the public to be mindful of their elderly or vulnerable neighbours as the weather conditions continue to worsen.
The Limerick Homeless Action Team can be contacted on 061 481212 normal business hours or the out of hours number is 1800 606060.