True grit in Shantallow!

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HOUSEHOLDERS hemmed in by the snow in Shantallow are being offered a helping hand by the local Residents’ Association.

Since the big freeze hit last week, volunteers have been taking to the streets and squares armed with wheel barrows, spades and grit.

“There are people who would not have been able to leave their homes without the gritting service. The DOE have been totally on the ball, keeping the main roads clear but the sidestreets have been treacherous and people have struggled to get out and about,” George Cairns of Shantallow Residents’ Association said.

The Residents’ Association borrowed wheelbarrows from the City Council and have been out and about at each sign of a heavy frost.

Keep it moving

“I think it is important that people know we are doing this. It is about helping out where we can and trying to keep the community moving in these extreme weather conditions.”

Mr Cairns did say, however, the team were struggling to cope with the deteriorating weather conditions and said that grit was in increasingly short supply.

A spokesperson for the DRD said that gritting services were being focused on main roads, which mean that restrictions had to be placed on distributing grit to outside organisations.

“Roads Service’s main priority is to keep the main road network open, which services 80 per cent of the traffic in the north.

“Currently there is heavy snowfall and more forecast, therefore we must devote all our resources, in terms of manpower and materials, to ensure we can keep the main roads open. We apologise that the weather has forced us into this position but when conditions ease we will do our best to continue with our normal supplies.”