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Donegal weather crisis - at a glance 11.01.10

- TEATIME yesterday in Inishowen brought a partial thaw as well as strong and biting-cold winds. Meteorologists are forecasting a mixed bag for Ulster today including snow in some parts as well as a rise in temperatures in others. It is currently unclear if Inishowen is in for a permanent or short-lived thaw in the icy conditions. However, below was the picture around the peninsula and other parts of the county on Friday and Saturday as the winter weather crisis deepened. For more photos click here .
A view from the Lough Foyle Ferry during the recent record low temperatures as ice floes form in the water. - Donegal has a roads network of 6,000km. Donegal County Council is "prioritising" 1200km of national primary, secondary and regional roads.

- It is dispatching gritting lorries, where possible, to other non-prioritised areas in hardship cases including wakes and funerals etc.

- A total of 24 gritting lorries and 150 staff are working on the roads network countywide since the winter weather crisis began.
- Hundreds of primary schools, secondary schools and playschools around Inishowen and countywide will stay closed this week until Thursday at the earliest.

- The Good Morning Donegal service which telephones elderly and vulnerable people in their own homes daily, say they are "heartened" that all 246 people on their call list are reporting enough food, fuel and medicines thanks to help from friends, family and neighbours. Project co-ordinator Francis Browne said the service's 50 volunteers are keeping in close contact with clients as the weather crisis deepens.

- Some winter exams at Letterkenny Institute of Technology due to start today have been postponed until later this month.

- National Roads Authority weather stations at Burt, Ballybofey, Killygordan and Gaoth Dobhair have registered some of the coldest temperatures on record with forecasts for midnight on Friday of -10, -10, -8 and -8 respectively.

- Primary, national and regional roads are "passable but dangerous" and extreme driver caution is advised.

- Stocks of salt in Donegal are "critical" and are being stretched using a mix of one-third salt, one-third grit and one-third sand.

- Stocks of sand and grit are "adequate". The council is getting its stocks of sand, dredged from Lough Foyle, from City of Derry Port.

- Using Limerick for the first time, Donegal County Council sent three lorries to Foynes on Friday to pick up 100 tonnes of salt.

- It is receiving two to three 30-tonne loads of salt daily from Carrickfergus, Co Antrim and hopes this supply stream will continue.

- Donegal County Council bought 100 tonnes of salt early last week from a private Donegal haulage operator who travelled to Chesire, England, for supplies.

- People are advised to contact their local public services centres for the location of sand depots where they can pick up their own supplies.

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