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The Great Snow of 2010…

As we move in the second week of freezing conditions in Ireland with grit running critically low and infrastructure coming to a stand still it’s obvious that this period will stick in the memory for a long time to come.

I, at 20, have never seen weather like this. I wasn’t around in to witness the big snow in Dublin in 1982 (really cool, forgive the pun video here) but even for those who were the conditions then didn’t even come close to what we’re dealing with at the moment.

The first lot of the ‘white shite’ as we are now calling it in our house fell on New Years Eve, shortly before 12 o’clock and is was truly magical, but now 11 days on, well for me it’s still magical (the child in me can’t help but prance around the garden crunching the snow) but it’s not practical. In my estate, where the roads are too minor to be gritted, it’s getting almost impossible to get to the main road.

Even some of the main roads this morning weren’t gritted and with the grit running out they’re not likely to be by Monday morning. Many people are torn between heading out on the treacherous roads to get to work or staying at home, and it’s hitting people especially hard due to the current economic situation.

The cold snap has been markedly damaging for businesses in Ireland. Sales were already struggling before the deterioration in conditions and with many people unable to travel to town and to shopping centres they’re set to feel the pinch and therefore having a knock on effect on the already woeful economy. Many companies are straining to cope as they are forced to close as employees can’t make it into work. The icy city streets are deserted when they should be bustling, full of shoppers looking for bargains, pubs and clubs are empty as people can’t get in or out of the city.

Resources such as water and food are being tested but are just about coping with the increased demand. On Friday water levels dropped severely low in certain areas in Dublin where it was believed people were running taps to avoid them freezing. Just this morning towns in North County Dublin lost their water supplies due to problems with frozen pipes. Also with the problems with transportation around the country comes the fear of a food shortage. At the moment there is no problem but unnecessary panic buying could cause problems in the coming days (here’s hoping the milk and tea doesn’t run out, there would be a national crisis).

I feel particularly for the elderly at the moment. I’m ok if I’m stuck for food as at least I can go on foot, but many elderly have been left stranded in their homes for nearly a fortnight. With temperatures dropping as low as -12oC they are particularly vulnerable.

Many people having been critical about the government’s lack of provisions in place for such conditions, but who really could have planned for this?

Last week saw cancellation of bus services, treacherous driving conditions and unbelievable traffic jams. All primary and secondary schools are closed until Thursday and many universities have postponed exam sessions (to the dismay of students, alright they have another week to study but they can’t get out or into town to go drinking). With even more snow predicted tomorrow and the middle of next week it looks like Ireland’s set for another week of chaos.

As the temperature stay well below zero and the snow keeps coming, I cannot help but think will it ever stop?!

Me crunching in the snow!!

Snow and Geese!!

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  1. wolfy
    January 10, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    I am in Chicago. but have got to agree!

  2. January 11, 2010 at 7:48 am

    I always thought of snowfall being awesome. I guess I overlooked its disadvantages. It never snow in this part of the world. The first video would be perfect as a source for sound effects in some shooter game. I’ve been thinking about the pipes too, how do you people manage to keep the water flowing in your homes?

  1. January 15, 2010 at 12:21 am

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