Big freeze to continue through week
The first big freeze of the winter is set to persist across Inishowen until at least Friday afternoon.
With night-time temperatures as low as -6 degrees Celsius predicted through Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, motorists are urged to take extra care and to “please consider if your journey is absolutely necessary”.
Donegal County Council says it salted 21 routes across the county yesterday, including a total of 1,137 kilometres – but the Local Authority is warning drivers to “assume that no road is ice-free” this week.
Council officials attended a meeting of the National Emergency Co-Ordination group on Sunday morning.
The meeting was convened to coordinate measures to mitigate the impact of the ongoing spell of wintry weather on public services.
With snow falls forecast, the Council says snow ploughs will be mounted on our gritting lorries and additional lorries will be called in to assist in treating our higher volume, higher elevation routes.
Road temperatures around the county remain close to or below freezing, therefore, any snow or rain that falls is likely to freeze, causing hazardous driving conditions in particular on untreated surfaces.
By 5pm yesterday evening road temperatures on the N13 at An Grianan, Burt had already plummeted to -2.5 degrees, the coldest recorded road in the county at that time.
A Met Eireann orange warning for low temperatures and freezing fog was in place for all of Inishowen through Monday but it expired at midnight last night.
A status yellow warning for low temperatures and ice remains in place however until at least midday this Friday, December 16.
Met Eireann says it will remain very cold through the week with widespread sharp to severe frosts and icy stretches, with showers of hail, sleet and snow mainly near the coast.
It says any accumulations at lower levels are expected to remain low however.
As well as possible treacherous road conditions, the authority is warning of the potential for burst water pipes, supply disruption and damage to engines.
Irish Water tended to a burst main that caused some supply outages in Keenaghan, Bree, Malin Head and surrounding areas yesterday afternoon.
These works are scheduled to continue until 1pm today, Tuesday.
Donegal County Council has issued some advice for motorists, who should only travel if necessary.
A DCC spokesperson explained: “Plan your journey around the roads that are gritted even if this means a longer journey given the risks on untreated surfaces.”
“Put a hi-viz jacket, shovel, boots or wellingtons, extra clothing or a blanket and a flask in the boot of the car, in case you do get stuck or have to abandon the car. You should check your tyres’ pressure, tread depth and condition.”
“Top up your windscreen wash with one that is resistant to low temperatures as spray from roads can obstruct your vision and if your windscreen wash freezes you won’t be able to keep your windscreen clear.”
“Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged. If your car has rear wheel drive the addition of extra weight in the boot, such as a bag of sand or cement, will help your wheels to grip.”
And finally, a key message for all drivers this week.
“It takes longer to stop a vehicle in snow or on icy roads so slow down and allow extra distance between you and the vehicle in front.
“Manoeuvre gently and avoid harsh braking, acceleration or steering as these can induce a skid.”
Meanwhile, motorcyclists and cyclists should consider “alternative transport or walking” instead, the Council said.