Local authorities across Dublin are encouraging people to check on vulnerable neighbours and practice safe driving as the cold weather begins to bite.
As part of their response to the Government’s ‘Be Winter Ready’ campaign, all four councils have put a Winter maintenance plan in place to cope with extreme weather.
Dublin City Council’s Road Maintenance Services have prepared a Winter maintenance plan that will run until the end of April.
In the event of freezing temperatures, ice or snow, approximately 300km of the road network in the city council’s administrative area will be treated with gritting salt.
A total of 21 salt bins will soon be placed at strategic locations across the city, with 2,100 tonnes of road salt stored in four depots across the city.
Dublin City Council also has a fleet of 10 gritters and six snow ploughs as well as a number of lorries, JCBs and four wheeled drive vehicles.
Meanwhile, South Dublin County Council told Dublin Gazette: “Our Severe Weather Assessment Team meets in advance of all storms on foot of any Met Eireann weather warnings received.
“The purpose of the meeting is to assess the readiness of the council to deal with the upcoming storm and severe weather events and put in place preventative actions as required.”
The framework includes a major emergency plan, flood emergency plan, severe weather plan and rest centre plan.
Seven gritting routes have been identified with gritting trucks and snow ploughs for each route.
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has 10 trucks available for dealing with snow and ice as well as gritting pre-defined routes, while six of these can be adapted for use as snow ploughs.
A spokesperson said: “The council’s objective is to provide an effective and efficient winter maintenance service within the resources available and to minimise the impact of frost, ice or snow on the travelling public.
“Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown also has a severe weather plan and severe weather assessment team in place that deals with severe or extreme weather events, such as snowstorms and prolonged periods of ice and snow on the ground.”
Meanwhile, Fingal County Council’s Winter plans include a fleet of eight gritting and salting trucks, four of which have been replaced since last year, plus five new snow ploughs and several JCBs.
Four duty engineers, 10 rostered engineers and 20 rostered trained drivers are on stand-by to treat roads and salt depots in Swords and Coolmine are “sufficiently stocked”, according to the council.
Met Eireann is not predicting a white Christmas, though it does forecast freezing temperatures with the mercury plummeting as low as minus three degrees.
It urges people to heed its colour-coded warnings, with status yellow advising caution; orange signifying possible threat to life and property; and red indicating that you should stay indoors and take action to keep yourself safe.