independent

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Just one day of salt supplies left

MORE SNOW COULD CAUSE CHAOS

CONOR CULLEN

WEXFORD County Council's salt supplies are so low it has just about enough left in stock to deal with just one more day of heavy snowfall.

With temperatures set to plummet in the next few days another fall of snow could leave the local authority - and the county's motorists - in a very precarious position.

However, Senior Executive Engineer Eddie Taaffe said the remaining salt is enough for three days, if no further heavy fall arrives.

Since the thaw set in the council has been spreading salt on national routes and key regional routes just once a day - in the evenings - to try prevent surface water freezing at night.

'We are receiving limited deliveries over the next three or four days. The salt is being issued to us on a rationed basis by the National Roads Authority (NRA),' said Mr Taaffe, pointing out that the NRA now has very limited resources itself after the last couple of weeks trying to cope with the snow.

Mr Taaffe acknowledged that the council has 'no reserve in place if there's another significant snowfall'.

Co Wexford requires about 220 tonnes a day during snowfalls (160 for national and key regional routes, with a further 60 for towns and some villages), but its supply is currently is down to around 200 tonnes in total.

'We're using it as quickly as it comes in now,' said Mr Taaffe, pointing out that the NRA - now firmly in control of the salt supplies - is rationing the amount sent to local authorities to ensure that its own limited supply lasts that little bit longer.

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