The water situation as reported this morning was production at 548Mld and demand at 559Mld. This was a disappointing reversal on recent days. Through redirection etc we still have 678Mld storage in Stillorgan. There will be no cut-offs from the 23rd to 27th December inclusive but we will have some pressure reductions over that period. We have brought forward the review date to the 27th because of the likely impact of the thaw around that period.
Michael Phillips and I attended another meeting of the National Emergency Co-ordinating Committee this morning. Met Eireann advised of extremely cold temperatures all over the country. In the Dublin area we still had some snow showers last night and into the morning and this could continue during the day. The snow has caused difficulties at Dublin Airport. Met Eireann feel tomorrow and Saturday will be dry but staying very cold. The real thaw will not commence until Sunday. But this will be followed by very wet and windy weather.
The NRA continues to manage overall salt supplies. A delivery of salt got into Dublin Port this morning and is being unloaded for distribution to critically affected areas including Dublin. There will be further loading operations in Cork today. There will be salt coming into Belfast and this will also be unloaded before Christmas. Therefore the situation on salt continues to improve and will do so up to 1st January 2011. We are continuing to spread salt in the city as per the map on the website.
Footpaths are still an issue in the city and we had our men out from 6.30am again today. It continues to be a difficult exercise given the further intermittent nature of the snowfall. We have mobilised the 3 specially adapted forklifts and up to 10 mini diggers to help with clearing the paths. They are concentrating on areas of heavy footfall including access to rail stations, fire stations and hospitals. Government Departments and the OPW are co-operating around their buildings at a number of locations in the city. The Army are assisting with up to 100 personnel today.