Snow warning ahead of new flood alert

Snow warning ahead of new flood alert

A yellow warning for snow has been issued for parts of Northern Ireland on Saturday, as the region braces itself for yet more high tides and extreme weather, the worst of which is expected on Monday.

Following Friday's flooding alert, Saturday is expected to see outbreaks of rain, sleet and snow before clearing during the evening.The Met Office is advising of possible travel disruption on higher grounds due to the bad weather, across counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Londonderry and Tyrone."The snow will be mainly confined to higher ground above about 150 metres where accumulations of several centimetres are possible," a spokesperson said."There may be temporary slight slushy deposits at lower levels in any heavier precipitation."The situation is finely-balanced and there remains considerable uncertainty regarding the extent of any snow."Meanwhile, other coastal surges are expected on Sunday and Monday, with further flood alerts in parts of Belfast and coastal areas. The Met Office has also issued a yellow warning for heavy rain on Sunday across Northern Ireland.The PSNI has been co-ordinating a multi-agency planning team to respond to the unusual weather conditions.Speaking on Friday afternoon, Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin warned that flooding risks will remain high over the next three days, particularly on Monday which will see less favourable winds, coupled with heavy rain.We have concerns for what appears to be emerging for Monday. Our concerns would be every bit as great in respect of Monday as they were for today and indeed perhaps evens a little bit worse.Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin"We will remain on high alert over the coming days and we would urge the public to do the same," he said."Unfortunately we're not over this extreme weather yet. We are anticipating another higher than usual high tide around midday on Sunday and Monday afternoon's high tide has the potential again to cause widespread flooding," he added..A warning to stay away from coastal paths and walkways remains in place."We would ask people to continue avoiding coastal paths and to drive with extreme caution over the next few days. We would advise people to retain their sandbags for potential use again on Sunday and Monday," he said.ACC Martin said they would liaise with partner agencies and provide an update as they get a clearer indication of coming weather patterns.During a visit to east Belfast where flooding barriers were put in place, First Minister Peter Robinson said that teams involved in the multi-agency response would remain on alert over the weekend and particularly on Monday."We are not expecting Saturday and Sunday to be bad but these things can turn on the hour, Monday is the next crisis point, hopefully we will get through that as well," he said."We've now got contingency arrangements in place that you can see in circumstances where you have some notice you can get things on the ground."The Inverary Community Centre will reopen on Saturday from 10am to 4pm for residents to collect sandbags, with similar arrangements in place on Sunday.Residents with any queries should contact 0800 7076965 between 10am and 2pm.Anyone who needs to report flooding can call a flooding incident line on 0300 2000 100 or the police non-emergency line on 0845600 8000. More information is available here.Police are appealing for people to leave sandbags in place in E. Belfast. Reports some have been lifted. Bad weather likely on Monday— naomi mcmullan (@naomi_utv) January 3, 2014

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