14.50pm: The N3 south of Virginia now partially clear, but down to one lane of traffic in places due to drifts driven by the wind. All nationals roads are now passable, albeit with caution required. Many regional routes however remain blocked in south and east of county due to drifts. These will take some time to clear.
14.45pm: RCSI Hospital Group statement regarding current Red Alert Weather Warning and Hospital services Beaumont Hospital, Connolly Hospital, Rotunda Hospital, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Louth County Hospital, Cavan & Monaghan Hospitals Emergency services and all essential planned services in all hospitals are continuing.
“We would continue to encourage people to consider all options available to them for their healthcare needs and to protect the Emergency Departments for those most seriously ill, as delays can still be expected.”
At Beaumont Hospital, Connolly Hospital, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda, Louth County Hospital and Cavan & Monaghan Hospitals, all Outpatient Clinics for Monday March 5 will proceed. “There is no need for patients to contact the hospital in advance of their booked appointment.
All Inpatient and Day Care appointments meanwhile are being reviewed on a case by case basis and patients will be contacted directly by the hospital.
14.25pm: Water customers are being advised by Irish Water, working with Cavan County Council, that due to the extremely cold weather conditions and exceptionally high usage, water treatment plants are struggling to keep up with water supply demands.
Issues are being reported in the East of the county, with taps left running on properties being blamed.
13.05pm: BUS EIREANN UPDATE: No Bus Éireann services will operate for the remainder of Friday, March 2 due to ongoing severe weather conditions and extremely challenging road conditions.
This includes all city and town services, the Expressway intercity network, and Eurolines services to the UK.
We anticipate that we may be able to resume a level of services in some parts of the country tomorrow morning, dependent on the local road conditions.
It is our aim to operate some services on the Expressway inter-city network, and possibly a level of regional city and town services, in less affected areas.
However, there will not be any kind of full service schedule tomorrow due to difficult and dangerous road conditions in many parts of the country.
We apologise for the inconvenience but saftey of staff and customers is paramount.
11.55am: The Council have reported drifts of up to two metres in some places. Salters and ploughs working to clear network but this will take some time. Drivers are urged to stay at home.
The N3 south of Virginia remains impassable at the minute. Motorists are asked to avoid the area to allow snow ploughs clears the drifts.
The Crosskeys to Ballyjamesduff road, like many secondary routes throughout the county, is another which at present blocked by heavy snowfall overnight.
11.15am: MET EIREANN- The national weather service Status Orange warning for Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo remains in place until 6pm today.
The latest forecast for today is that weather will continue to be very cold and overcast with scattered outbreaks of sleet and snow. The snow will be heavy and persistent across the south and east. Further accumulations will occur. Ulster and Connacht will have good dry spells and the snow will turn to sleet in some coastal areas of the south and east. Easterly winds will be strong and gusty. Highest temperatures zero to +3 degrees.
Tonight there'll be further outbreaks of snow especially over the midlands, north and eastern counties, but it will be mostly of rain further south. Dry spells too. Minimum temperatures zero to -3 degrees coldest inland. A sharp frost and icy patches widely. Fresh east winds.
The outlook meanwhile is for cold weather to continue through the rest of the weekend with highest temperatures during Sunday only around 2 to 4 degrees. There will be a good deal of dry weather across the south of the country but wintry showers or some showery rain will affect more northern counties. Widespread frost overnight.
11.05am: REMINDER on leaving taps running- Irish Water is appealing to people not to leave their taps running for long periods. To prevent pipes from freezing, householders can keep the heating on at a low temperature, circulate air around the house by keeping internal doors open, keep the attic door open to warm the space, minimise cold external draughts and block cold air from entering the house.
11.00am: Simon Coveney earlier today said employers need to be responsible and realistic about what to expect from staff.
He said emergency services were primarily working on making the roads safe but that people should not make unnecessary journeys as crews and local authorities should not be diverted to rescue situations.
He said the country needs to more or less stay in hibernation today.
Mr Coveney said over the next 48 hours, high tide would be a danger in some areas and that, combined with a thaw, there could be a significant risk of flooding where there has been high snowfall.
10.45am: The HSE has asked nursing homes if they can provide emergency respite or transitional care beds, for people who are in hospital, or those who cannot get necessary support services in their homes in the community.
It needs beds for patients who will require discharge from hospitals in the coming days.
It is also seeking nursing home beds for people who are in the community but are unable to access appropriate support services to meet their care needs.
Nursing Homes Ireland says the HSE has asked it to be made aware of any bed availability to support it in meeting the care needs of people in the community who may be in distress.
It is also liaising with the older people's charity Alone, to assist people who find themselves in circumstances within their home that are untenable.
10.40am: A reminder of Bus Éireann’s statement from yesterday, advising customers that based on updated weather warnings from Met Éireann, the company will not operate any services in Leinster and Munster tomorrow, Friday 2nd March. All Expressway inter-city services nationwide will also not operate.
“We apologise for any inconvenience to customers but road conditions will have to be assessed and safety is our priority.”
They however are due to review the situation this morning and provide further information around midday with a view to a possible resumption of some services in the late afternoon or evening.
“We will provide a further update in relation to the operation of scheduled services from Saturday morning.”
10.35am: Gardaí issued a statement earlier this morning asking motorists to avoid unnecessary journeys. Many roads remain impassable and local authorities are prioritising national routes. If you must travel and become stuck, contact emergencies services.
10:30am: After the arrival of Storm Emma, and high winds last night, parts of Cavan received heavy snowfall overnight with the south and east of the county bearing the brunt, according to Cavan County Council.
Though the red weather warning no longer applies to Cavan, the county is still experiencing unprecedented severe weather conditions, with sub-zero temperatures and significant accumulations of snow.
“The combination of high winds and snowfall overnight has led to snow drifts of up to two metres in some places.
As such, routes that may appear passable at first may be blocked by drifting snow further down the road, leaving motorists stuck. Local and regional roads and housing estates may also be treacherous.”
Cavan County Council therefore is continuing to urge drivers to stay at home this morning.
“Salting crews and snow ploughs have been out since early this morning clearing the road network, but this process will take some time to complete, and the public is asked to remain patient.”
Additional stockpiles of grit remain available to the public at 113 locations countywide. The full list can be viewed at bit.ly/GritCCC.
All county council offices are closed again today, Friday, including all branches of Cavan County Library Service, Local Enterprise Office, Cavan, Cavan County Museum and the Bridge Street Centre.
Emergency services are on call 24 hours a day.
Cavan County Council’s emergency out of hours emergency number is 087 611 8116. This is for council-related emergencies only, and 999 or 112 should still be used to contact the rescue and emergency services.
Useful telephone numbers
ESB: 1850 372 999
Irish Water Supply: 1850 278 27
Gas Networks: 1850 205 050
Rescue Services: 999 or 112
Monaghan County Council is also saying they have been ploughing and gritting crews have been in action since 6am.
All National Primary and National Secondary Roads are open and passible including: N2 Dublin-Derry road; N12 Monaghan-Tyholland; N54 Monaghan-Clones; N53 Castleblayney-Culloville roads.
All local roads in rural area are untreated and in a treacherous condition.
But the council's advice is not to travel today unless it is absolutely necessary. AA Roadwatch state heavy snow in parts of the county has resulted in treacherous conditions, especially in Monaghan Town, Castleblayney and Carrickmacross.
Roads in Longford meanwhile, in such areas such as the town itself are passable, but with extreme care and in Granard, secondary routes are impassable.
However, gardaí in Ballymahon say the main route from Ballymahon to Longford is impassable, at an area known as Terlicken Cross. Longford.