With frost and snow falls expected in mid-November authorities in Derry are putting contingency plans in place for the winter. With record breaking low temperatures, ice floes on the Foyle last year’s winter was harsh and experts say this one will be even worse.
A spokesperson for Derry City Council explained they were confident of having adequate salt supplies for the months ahead and that Airport staff are fully prepared if and when the severe weather hits.
“Departmental managers meet on a regular basis in relation to contingency planning for all weather conditions,” said the spokesperson. “Among the Council services regularly reviewed are street cleansing, refuse collection, civic amenity site provision, city cemeteries, leisure centres, public parks and pathways.
“The Council also works closely with the DOE and Road Service to tie in with their contingency plans.”
The spokesperson confirmed that in anticipation of severe weather conditions, it has adequate salt in storage. In addition to this, staff at the City of Derry Airport have full contingency plans in place in preparation for severe weather conditions should they arise.
The Roads Service began preparations for the long hard winter back in April, ensuring adequate staffing arrangements were in place and testing winter service equipment and making sure there is an adequate stock of salt.
A Road Service spokesperson said salt barns, which are strategically placed in depots throughout Northern Ireland, were filled to capacity prior to the start of the winter.
“Roads Service normally holds sufficient stocks of salt in these barns to provide the winter service programme for a full season without the need to restock, however, following last year’s severe weather, Roads Service has reviewed these levels and increased stocks significantly to be best placed to deal with any potential prolonged wintry weather. It also has arrangements in place to supplement stocks of salt during the winter period, if necessary.
"Roads Service commits significant resources to its winter service programme and every night, from the end of October until the middle of next April, Roads Service will have over 300 people on standby ready to salt main roads, helping drivers across Northern Ireland to cope with the wintry conditions."