Roundwood village emerges from extreme snow conditions

Many in Wicklow house-bound and roads closed as mountain rescue says stay away

Snow in  Roundwood  on Monday. Photograph: Tim O’Brien

Snow in Roundwood on Monday. Photograph: Tim O’Brien

 

As cities and towns got slowly back to normal after Storm Emma, those living on high ground were still digging their cars – and in some cases themselves – out of snowdrifts on Monday.

In Roundwood, Co Wicklow, snow remains thick on the ground, across the landscape and in drifts several metres thick, with only single-line traffic for long stretches of local access roads.

High walls of snow line the approach from Kilmacanogue on the N11, where the Garda had stopped “snow tourists” on Sunday, blocking hordes of sightseers keen to see the Alpine conditions.

Tanya and Thomas Brady: walked to the village from the Mullinaveigne area over the weekend, but didn’t venture out in the car until Monday. Photograph: Tim O’Brien
Tanya and Thomas Brady: walked to the village from the Mullinaveigne area over the weekend, but didn’t venture out in the car until Monday. Photograph: Tim O’Brien

Approaching from the Tomriland direction on Monday, the only way into the village was along a single-line route through walls of snow about 3m high.

In the village itself, many shops were reopening for the first time since Wednesday.

Buried vehicles

At Kavanagh’s Butchers, Jane Piere said she had walked into town with her dog from the Glendalough Road which had been impassible for several days. Although cars belonging to Ms Piere and her husband were under a car port at their home, the vehicles were buried by snow drifting around the house. Ms Piere said she and her husband had their own well and had insulated it, placing an infra-red bulb in the well house on Thursday morning. “Only for that, we might not have stopped the water from freezing,” she said.

A car drives through snow in Roundwood, Co Wicklow, on Monday. Photograph: Tim O’Brien
A car drives through snow in Roundwood, Co Wicklow, on Monday. Photograph: Tim O’Brien

Roads out from the village had been cleared “a bit”, said Tanya and Thomas Brady who had brought their Ford Ka out for the first time since last week. The couple had run out of milk and bread early on, even though they had bought in extra supplies. They had walked to the village from the Mullinaveigne area over the weekend, but didn’t dare venture out in the car until Monday.

Shovelling snow

Michael Aherne of the Roundwood Inn was shovelling snow from the footpath outside. “We had to close on Friday and Saturday,” he said. “But we opened on Sunday again and it was very, very busy.”

Michael Aherne of the Roundwood Inn shovels snow. Photograph: Tim O’Brien
Michael Aherne of the Roundwood Inn shovels snow. Photograph: Tim O’Brien

As he chatted, tractors and JCBs were passing up and down the street, leaving huge mountains of snow, twice the size of any parked cars, at the side of the road.

Roads in and out of the village remained very difficult to negotiate, with a number of people appealing for help to clear driveways on the Roundwood Facebook page.

Roads to the Sally Gap and many side roads stretching from the village remain uncleared. Some roads have been ploughed only to facilitate local residents and are, in effect, cul de sacs.

The Dublin and Wicklow Mountain Rescue service has appealed for people not to come sightseeing.