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‘Blizzard-like conditions’ on way as Storm Eunice to batter Northern Ireland

A multi-agency approach is underway to prepare for all eventualities

It’s all hands on deck ahead of the arrival of Storm Eunice as a multi-agency response is planned for the expected disruption and potential dangers she may bring.

There are now yellow weather warnings in place for both snow and wind.

It follows the felling of trees and widespread power cuts brought about by Storm Dudley on Wednesday.

Storm Eunice will bring a mixed bag as Northern Ireland prepares for a very unsettled and uncertain few days.

The weather warning for snow comes into effect at 3am on Friday and is in place until 6pm.

The warning for wind is in place from 7am until 6pm.

According to the Met Office, Storm Eunice may cause disruption due to heavy snow and some strong winds on Friday.

BBC weatherman Barra Best has warned of “blizzard like conditions” due to the mix of strong winds and snow.

Conditions could damage trees and buildings, while public travel could be affected. Some roads and bridges could be forced to close and there is the potential for power cuts and mobile phone coverage disruption.

Multi-agency partners have met again as preparations continue ahead of Storm Eunice tomorrow.

Staff from all agencies are monitoring the situation and making preparations to respond to any impacts.

A Department of Infrastructure spokesperson said: “The weather conditions could lead to debris on the roads, fallen trees and spray or large waves on exposed and vulnerable coastal areas.

“As always in wintry conditions the Department will salt the main routes with our 130 gritters and 12 specialist snow blowers available to keep the road network open where possible.  Arrangements are also in place to enlist the help of contractors and local farmers to assist in efforts with snow clearing operations on local roads.

“Traffic disruption is possible and the public are being asked to consider their journeys and take extra care when travelling.

“The Department’s roads and rivers teams have also been checking and clearing road gullies and drainage inlet structures as necessary.

“Monitoring of water levels and tides has been ongoing and will continue until the weather warnings have elapsed.  Regional Community Resilience Groups have also been advised of weather warnings and to make appropriate preparations.

“The flood incident line has been advised to expect an increased number of calls and is working to ensure it has the requisite staffing capacity for the duration of the weather events.

“To report incidents of flooding, please contact the flooding incident line on 0300 2000 100.  Calls taken by the incident line staff are passed to the relevant responding Agency.”

You can report an obstruction on the road at https://nidirect.gov.uk/services/report-obstruction-road-or-street

Regular updates and advice and guidance for road users is available at: www.trafficwatchni.com

Advice and information on the current weather warnings is available at : www.nidirect.gov.uk/news/strong-winds-and-snow-warning-information-and-advice

Further advice on driving in adverse weather conditions is also available at:  www.nidirect.gov.uk/publications/driving-adverse-weather-conditions-leaflet

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