By Dan Walsh
Wexford County Council is in contact with the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management (NDFEM) Crisis Management Team, and Carolyn Godkin, Director of Services, told Monday’s meeting of Wexford County Council about plans to review the weather forecast for the coming days, including the potential impact of snow, and to provide all key stakeholders with this information directly to enable relevant preparations to take place.
“Thursday is the day when a band of rain will come in from the west bringing a lot of cold air and that is where we will see a lot of sleet and snow. We will be receiving daily briefings from NDFEM over the coming days. Our own emergency committee was briefed this morning (Monday) and we shared our various plans, and we will meet again over the coming days. People are ready to be mobilised depending on how the weather will change and calls can be taken from members of the public on 053 9196000,” Ms. Godkin told members via Microsoft Teams due to Covid-19 regulations.
A Severe Weather Coordination meeting was held today (Tuesday). NDFEM continues to meet daily, working with Met Éireann, OPW, local authorities and other Government Departments and agencies to monitor the forecasts and their predicted impacts.
A yellow weather warning for snow / ice is in place for counties Louth, Meath, Westmeath, Cavan and Monaghan until Wednesday evening, with snow already reported in many areas. Forecasts at present indicate scattered, wintry showers of sleet or snow, mainly affecting the east and northeast today (Tuesday). Overnight tonight temperatures are forecast to drop as low as -5oC in some areas. Wintry showers are likely to continue throughout Wednesday, mainly affecting the midlands, north Leinster and east Ulster.
A yellow warning for snow / ice has been issued for Thursday for Munster, Connaught and Leinster. It is likely that precipitation will fall as snow, with accumulations leading to hazardous conditions in some areas. This has the potential for disruption to transport. There is a potential for wintry showers to continue in some areas into Friday, but current indications are for milder conditions for the weekend, albeit with rain in some areas also.
Wexford County Council preparedness actions include;
Making sure extra beds are available for homeless / rough sleepers in line with the Cold Weather Strategy 20/21.
Road Treatment (winter maintenance);
Activation of crisis management and an inter-agency response.
Community Call staff in place to assist vulnerable and isolated persons and public communications of information and safety messages via local news media and WexfordLocal.com.
Department of Transport, An Garda Síochána and HSE all outlined their levels of preparedness also.
It should be emphasised that all unnecessary travel should continue to be avoided in line with current Public Health advice.