Fresh snow arrives along with more warnings

Lorry gets into trouble at Newmarket Street outside the Millennium Forum. Photo submitted by Ivor Doherty.
Lorry gets into trouble at Newmarket Street outside the Millennium Forum. Photo submitted by Ivor Doherty.

The snow has returned across the north west overnight with warnings of more turbulent weather over the weekend.

The fresh warnings come during a week when Winter unleashed its arsenal on the north west.

There were reports that traffic is moving slowly this morning in Inishowen, Strabane and Sion Mills, while more snow was also falling across Derry.

Both Met Eireann and the Met Office in the north have issued fresh warnings for ice and more snow and sleet storms today and over the weekend.

The warning comes after a day in which gusts and gales brought down power lines and trees and playing havoc with travel plans for thousands of local people.

Snow showers, gales, rain storms and hail brought much of counties Derry. Donegal and Tyrone to a standstill, with electricity outages, impassable roads and closures at schools, businesses, graveyards, parks and amenity sites from Tuesday night through to yesterday.

As the snows melted away and the traffic volumes returned to near normal levels yesterday morning, the gales moved in, resulting in the Foyle Bridge being shut early yesterday morning through until the afternoon, bringing further problems for motorists trying to get to work or get children to school.

Prior to this on Wednesday, there were massive tailbacks across Derry, with some people reporting waits of almost three hours just to get from the cityside to the Waterside as the snow kept coming.

In one episode, captured by local man Ivor Doherty, a van driver lost control at the steep junction outside the Millennium Forum on Newmarket Street.

Driving rain mixed with melting snow throughout Wednesday and into yesterday also created flooding in various areas.

Meanwhile in Malin Head, winds of up to 130 kilometres an hour were recorded yesterday morning, resulting in waves as high as 30 feet.

On the flipside however, the young and young at heart across the region pulled on their winter woolies and wellie boots and headed outdoors to make snowmen (many of them modelled on popular Frozen character Olaf) and snow angels, or to stage snow ball fights with each other.

One local man, Luke Coyle, even donned a pair of skis and took off along the slopes of Derry’s Bogside.

However there were also widespread reports of youths throwing snowballs at cars and at people’s homes, and in one instance at Strathfoyle, youths even ran into a woman’s home and pelted those inside.

There was misery for families as the snow and the high winds brought power outages, with more than 13,000 people across Limavady, Inishowen, Gweedore, and the north coast of Donegal affected for a time over the past few days.

The Met Office in the north has warned that today will be cold and breezy with sunny spells and scattered wintry showers, including up to 15cms of snow on higher ground and sleet, hail and snow possible for lower levels along with strong westerly winds.

Ice will be an additional hazard on untreated surfaces across the region.

A spokesman for Met Eireann predicted: “Cold on Friday night as temperatures fall to below zero for much of the country. Wintry showers will continue to affect western and northern counties.

“The showers will continue in parts of the west and north on Saturday, some will be wintry. It will be a bitterly cold night on Saturday with a widespread severe frost and icy patches. Temperatures will range from -4 to 0 degrees.”