NOTE: Keep refreshing this story during the day as we will be updating it with the latest news on the local impacts of the storm, nicknamed 'The Beast From The East'.
13.07 Video message from Gardai and Offaly County Council
13.03 There have been a lot of snow angles spotted around the county. If you see any take a pic and sent it in. Thanks to Vanessa Slater Waldron.
12.58 Update from Offaly County Council:
At 1pm operations will cease due to the safety of staff driving in blizzard conditions. Ploughing, treating and clean up operations will resume once the Red Alert storm has passed.
Members of the public should stay indoors during this time as blizzard conditions are expected. Medical emergencies are the only reason to travel. Please do not endanger your own life or those of the emergency services and abide by this national advice.
Our main contact number for emergencies is 057 93 46800 and our out of hours/emergency number is 1890 750 750
12.55 Thanks to Paul Bracken for sending in the above pics, which were taken in Charleville Estate yesterday.
Lovely snowy vista in Cloghan sent in by Brendan Kenny.
12.46 CANCELLATIONS AND CLOSURES
Thursday March 1
Tullamore GAA Bingo tonight, Thursday,
Dorman School of Dancing Classes in Tullamore and Killeigh
Tullamore Credit Union closed from 2pm today
Birr Credit Union closed today, Thursday, and tomorrow.
First Friday Devotions in Tullamore Parish have been cancelled
Bingo in Daingean tonight, Thursday
12.38 Latest Weather Update: ZERO VISIBILITY
Forecasters predict the nation is to be hit with blizzard like conditions with zero visability later tonight which will extend countrywide. Heavier snow expected in from the south east with thunderstorms/hail over Munster and south Leinster. Gale force with risk of coastal flooding expected.
Everyone across the country has been advised to stay indoors from 4pm today due to Storm Emma/Beast fom the East. Remember to check in on elderly and vulnerable neighbours.
Due to the current weather conditions, and with further poor weather expected, the midlands schoolboygirls league have made the decision to CANCEL all fixtures scheduled for this weekend.— MSL (@derekcollinsmsl) February 28, 2018
Also the coerver traìning camp on Sunďay in the aura is also off
11.45 John Spollen took these lovely drone pics of Tullamore yesterday evening.
11.33 Gardai are asking pedestrians to stay on footpaths and not walk on roads. They are also advising the public to not drive unless absolutely necessary.
11.29 Pauline Sharp and her children have been very busy building this incredibly impressive four foot snow teddy in Birr. Well done guys. Can anyone top this?
A QUICK UPDATE FOR PEOPLE:
Everyone should be indoors by 4pm when the worst of the weather is expected to hit.
Bus Eireann is not operating any of its services today. It will resume its services at noon on Friday.
All Council Offices, including libraries and civic amenity centres, will be closed to the public for the remainder of this week. Staff will continue to maintain essential services during this current weather event.
All routine elective and outpatients appointments at Tullamore and the other hospitals in the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group have been cancelled for the next two days.
Jigsaw Offaly has said due to the status red weather alert they will remain closed until Monday, March 5th. All appointments will be rescheduled as soon as possible.
Roads Update: Please note as of 9am today only Priority 1 Routes listed below continue to be treated. Weather conditions are continuining to worse so please do not travel on any road unless essential Priority 1 Roads Offaly Tullamore Municipal District M6 Motorway section through Offaly Section* N52 Tullamore – Kilbeggan N52 Tullamore By Pass – Blueball N80 Charleville Roundabout – Killeigh Co Bdy R420 (Old N80) Clara -Tullamore R420 Bachelors Walk – Cloncollig Roundabout – Ballina X Birr Municipal District M7 Motorway section thru Offaly Section* N62/N52 Roscrea - Kennedys Cross *** N52 Birr-Riverstown N52 Kennedys Cross-Fivealley N52 Fivealley – Blueball N62 Ballinahown - Cloghan N62 Cloghan - Galross Cross N62 Galross Cross-Kennedys Cross R445 Roscrea – Borris in Ossory** Edenderry Municipal District R402 Edenderry - Enfield
Significant snowfalls have occurred over night and Met Éireann have advised Offaly and indeed the whole country is now at Status RED until at least 12pm tomorrow. Roads were treated and ploughed overnight and continuing this morning. There is heay snow and accumulations on all routes despite continued ploughing throughout the night. Due to major visibility issues and the depth of snow on our Priority 2 and 3 routes, drivers were unable to continue ploughing some of these roads. These issues were most prevalent on the Birr and Edenderry routes with drivers only able to plough the N52, N62 and Tullamore to Edenderry/Portarlington routes only. Details of these priority routes 2 and 3 which we were unable to plough can be found at http://offaly.ie/eng/Services/Roads/Winter-Maintenance/. Priority 1 routes continue to be treated. Crews are working to keep treated routes operational. However road users are advised to exercise extreme caution due to the significant snowfall. Treatment and ploughing has been deployed in Tullamore, Edenderry and Birr Town from 6am this morning. A risk assessment will be carried out this morning to assess treating and ploughing in extreme blizzard conditions. The following roads in the County remain closed: • Kinnitty to Mountrath road, the R440 Regional Road and the L8001-1 (across the Slieve Blooms). • L-4025-1 and L-4025-2 Kinnitty Road to Roscrea is closed in Kinnitty Village to Brereton’s Pub. • The Whitehall Bridge in Tullamore Where resources are available, footpaths in our main towns are also being cleared but we would ask all Households and Businesses to clear footpaths and areas outside their premises of snow at an early stage to ensure the safety of the public. Road users are advised to exercise extreme caution. Don’t travel unless absolutely necessary. Where travel is essential be where you need to be before 4pm. Please follow the advice at http://rsa.ie/en/RSA/Road-Safety/Campaigns/Current-road-safety-campaigns/Severe-Weather-Advice/ if you have to travel. From 4pm no travel should be undertaken. Gardaí have advised that they are prioritising and risk assessing all calls and that in the event of minor accidents where no injury arises, details should be exchanged and the accident can be reported at a later date. Gardai have reports of a number of minor material damage traffic accidents. We would ask the public to check www.winterready.ie for advice on how to deal with potential adverse weather conditions. Please check on the elderly and isolated neighbours and friends and ensure they have adequate stocks of food, fuel and medicine. All Council Offices, including libraries and civic amenity centres, will be closed to the public for the remainder of this week. Staff will continue to maintain essential services during this current weather event.
Please remember our feathered friends, such as the robin. Another great pic from Max Feehan.