State agencies in Limerick on standby as Storm Emma approaches

David Hurley

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David Hurley

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david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

State agencies in Limerick on standby as Storm Emma approaches

Limerick City and County Council convened its Severe Weather Assessment Team this Monday | PICTURE: Limerick City and County Council

STATE agencies in Limerick are on standby ahead of the arrival of Storm Emma later in the week.

Limerick City and County Council convened its Severe Weather Assessment Team (SWAT) this Monday ahead of the expected freezing temperatures.

Met Éireann has issued number of weather alerts warning of temperatures up to 10 degrees below normal for this time of year.

The worst of the weather is expected towards the end of the week and Limerick City and County Council says it is monitoring the situation very closely and is liaising with Met Éireann and the National Emergency Co-ordination Group.

“The winter road maintenance programme is continuing across the city and county. This gritting programme covers nearly 85% of all Limerick’s traffic,” said a spokesperson for the local authority who added that priority is being given to national routes and strategic locations on the public road network, which carry the most intensive volumes of commuter traffic.

Limerick City and County Council has 2,500 tonnes of gritting salt in stock with ready access to more if required.  Generally, 150 tonnes of gritting salt are used per night.

The council says its 15 gritting machines will be in use throughout the extreme cold spell while there are six snow ploughs on standby should they be required.

“Footpaths at strategic locations across Limerick will also be gritted if required, where resources permit.  These include the core city centre area, the bridges, near the hospitals, civic offices and public transport hub,” read a statement issued this Monday afternoon,

In the county footpath gritting will be carried out in Abbeyfeale,Adare, Askeaton, Bruff, Cappamore, Castleconnell, Croom, Doon, Dromcollogher, Hospital, Kilfinane, Kilmallock, Newcastle West and Rathkeale.

Additional emergency bed capacity for the homeless is being provided by Limerick City and County Council in partnership with other NGOs in Limerick. 

All HSE Health Services across the region are also on standby as the progress of Storm Emma is monitered.

“The type of weather forecast is always of concern.  Motorists, Pedestrians and Cyclists can experience particular additional risks while travelling.  We are asking people to be safe.  As a particular additional request we are asking people to check on the most vulnerable.  The elderly, those living alone, and those compromised by medical or social circumstances can experience severe weather in a much more harmful way than the rest of the community,” said Bernard Gloster Chief Officer HSE Mid West .

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is also advising famers to take all necessary precautions. 

”In order to ensure a safe working environment and also facilitate the movement of essential goods onto and off-farm, the farmyard and its environs should be fully gritted or sanded. All machinery should be correctly stored, maintained properly and where necessary, heating should be provided to ensure that milking equipment and other critical plant does not freeze up,” said a spokesperson.

For further advice and information stay with limerickleader.ie or log onto www.winterready.ie.