Several inches of snow has fallen across Limerick | PICTURE: Michael Cowhey
THE head of the Limerick garda division says the danger is “only beginning” across the city and county as snow continues to fall following the arrival of Storm Emma and the Beast from the East,
Up to eight inches of snow has fallen in parts of the county and a status red weather warning remains in place until 6pm this Friday.
Hundreds of front-line emergency personnel have been on standby across Limerick over the past 24 hours while Limerick City and Council deployed snow ploughs on some main routes shortly after 9am.
One of @LimerickCouncil 's snow plough clearing and then gritting strategic routes across #Limerick . Stay safe #StoirmEmma #beastfromtheeast @merrionstreet #lkworkingtogether pic.twitter.com/1aZl8kSJim— Limerick Council (@LimerickCouncil) March 2, 2018
Chief Superintendent Gerard Roche is appealing to members of the public to exercise excercise caution if they are venturing out later today.
“I have to emphasise we are in the middle of this, we really just got through the night where everybody stayed indoors. We have had little or no incidents (locally) because of that advice. We have had no tragedies and not one traffic accident has been reported in Limerick Clare or Tipperary since yesterday evening,” he told Live 95FM’s Limerick Today programme.
“What we are getting now (in Limerick) is what they got (in the east of the country) in the middle of the night – there are about two inches of snow in the east of the county and up to eight inches in the west,” he added.
Gardaí urge motorists to remain off roads unless absolutely necessary. Large amounts of snow on many roads and conditions vary significantly. Cars abandoned on many roads due to snow.— An Garda Síochána (@GardaTraffic) March 2, 2018
Chief Supt Roche says the majority of local and regional roads are treacherous and he is appealing to people to only made journeys which are absolutely necessary.
“The danger is really starting now for us. The red alert is there until 6pm – people have stayed indoors overnight and they are beginning to move now and this is the danger time. The red alert still says you should not travel unless it is absolutely necessary. Safety is paramount for everybody and that includes the emergency services,” he said.
The Local Co-ordination Group comprising of Limerick City and County Council, the HSE, UL Hospitals, An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces is expected to meet across the day to assess the situation as it evolves.
“We are monitoring this as it happens and I reiterate we are in the middle of this and we have to be patient – look out your window the snow is coming down quite heavily,” said Chief Supt Roche who added that it could be early next week before things are fully back to normal.