31/03/2010

Snowfalls Disrupt NI

Snowy conditions in some areas of Northern Ireland has led to a number of school closures while some 300 people had to be rescued from vehicles after they became stuck in snow near Londonderry, police have said.

Almost 50,000 homes, businesses and schools are without power as a result of damage caused to power lines by snow and high winds.

Motorists have been advised to take extra care on the roads, as snow and slush has made conditions treacherous.

Vehicles, including a school bus have been abandoned on the main Londonderry to Belfast road with the rescue now focused on 120 vehicles trapped on the Glenshane Pass after the 300 people were taken to shelter at 2am this morning.

The motorists were taken to Dungiven Leisure Centre, in County Londonderry, only for a power failure to strike, forcing them to relocate to nearby Limavady and Gulladuff.

It came as heavy snow and winds caused widespread problems across Northern Ireland with 48,000 homes left without power.
News Image
NIE said there were currently 600 individual faults across the network.

The Roads Service said they were facing "unprecedented" conditions with further snow showers expected during most of Wednesday.

Public transport is also affected with the Ulsterbus service between Londonderry and Belfast cancelled due to the adverse weather.

Barnault Road between Claudy and Limavady remains closed due to drifting snow exceeding one metre deep. Snow clearing is ongoing, according to Roads Service.

On Tuesday night, the Belfast to Bangor rail line was closed following a landslide.

Roads Service staff were deployed to locations the length and breadth of Northern Ireland, as the full force of the worsening conditions took hold.

Colin Brown, of the Roads Service told the Belfast News Letter: "We had a combination of rain and snow, with some of our teams dealing with localised flooding.

"In other areas, we were out salting the roads, particularly in the northern and western counties."

(BMcC/Gk)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

26 January 2004
Roads Service prepared to deal with snowfalls
Prepared to deal with heavy snowfalls, the DRD Roads Service in Northern Ireland have been on special alert since Sunday, following an advanced warning of possible snow from the Meteorological Office.
16 December 2010
Winter Wonderland To Return
As national weather forecasters said that the North and West of the UK would be worst hit by another spell of freezing temperatures - snow showers are expected to return to NI later today. With several centimetres of snow predicted to fall in some places, forecasters said the renewed Arctic blast could last into the middle of next week.
13 August 2019
Tech Firm Chargifi To Create New Jobs In Belfast
More than 40 new jobs are to be created in Belfast by Chargifi a leading provider of cloud-connected wireless charging technology. The firm also announced an investment of £3.6 million in a new Technology and Business Development Hub.
08 August 2019
Game Of Thrones Belfast Exhibition Extended
It's good news for fans who aren't quite ready to let go of Game of Thrones just yet as the popular touring exhibition extends its stay in Belfast. Almost three months since we bid farewell to the world of Westeros, a must-see list featuring some of the most poignant props from the series has been released for the final month.
09 May 2006
Roads Service to spend £6M on improvements
The Roads Service is to invest £4 million into the Armagh district and £2 million in the Newtownabbey area over the next twelve months, it has been revealed today.