Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Friday, 8 January 2010

Icy weather leads to disruption to schools

Snowdog and snowman
Seven-year-old Jade Brimecome built herself a snowman and dog

Northern Ireland remains in the grip of severe winter weather which has led to disruption for schools.

More schools closed on Friday, as overnight temperatures plunged as low as -11C in some parts.

The Met Office is advising that ice continues to pose a threat on untreated roads and pavements.

In Belfast, fire and rescue crews were called to the River Lagan after a dog fell through ice. However, by the time they arrived the animal had drowned.

Fog is expected to linger throughout most of the day, causing problems for motorists.

Even in the winter sun, temperatures are not expected to climb far above zero celsius.

As the cold snap continues, some exam candidates could have to wait five months to sit GCSE and A-level modules if weather prevents them taking them next week.

Ulsterbus services have been disrupted in Antrim, Armagh, Coleraine, Newry and Newtownards.

In Belfast, Metro services are also being disrupted due to the weather. Full details are available on the Translink website.

Many weekend sporting fixtures have also been called off.

Belfast scene
Cold waters.... a boat pictured on the River Lagan

Meanwhile, NI Water is warning that following the freezing conditions, the threat of burst pipes remains.

NI Water appealed to estate agents, farmers, schools, the Housing Executive and other government agencies, to ensure that any vacant property is checked for burst pipes.

"We would also ask that customers do not run their taps unnecessarily," it said.

On Thursday, a Belfast International Airport spokesperson said, in the last two weeks £250,000 has been spent on de-icing materials to ensure that the airport stayed open.

The spokesperson said: "More than 150,000 passengers have used the airport in that time during one of the worst periods of ice and snow for 20 years.

"As the poor weather in GB is set to continue the advice for passengers remains the same - to check with their airline regarding the status of their flight before making their way to the airport."

The following schools closed on Friday:

  • St Patrick's Primary School, Culllyhanna for P1 and P2 pupils
  • St Mary's Primary School, Greenlough, Portglenone
  • St John's Primary School, Coleraine
  • St Brigid's Boys High School, Armagh will be closed except for GCSE students
  • Ballyholland Primary School, Newry to remain closed on Friday
  • Sandelford Special School, Coleraine
  • St Patrick's Primary School in Gortin, Co Tyrone
  • Bessbrook Primary School
  • St Mary's Primary School, Mullymesker
  • Ballymacward Primary School, Stoneyford
  • Kesh Primary School
  • Killen Primary School, Omagh
  • Pond Park Primary School, Lisburn
  • Academy Primary School, Saintfield
  • St Teresa's Primary School, Loughmacrory
  • Keady Primary School
  • Garvagh High School (Garvagh Primary is open)
  • Bunscoil an Iuir, Newry
  • Mckinney Primary School, Dundrod
  • Maine Integrated Primary, Randalstown
  • Bellarina PS, near Limavady
  • St Bride's Primary, Belfast (closed for P1-P4 pupils due to a burst pipe)

A number of schools which reopened on Friday:

  • St Michael's Primary, Clady, County Armagh
  • Dundonald High School
  • Newtownhamilton Primary School
  • Newtownhamilton High
  • Rosstulla Special School, Jordanstown
  • Knockloughrim Primary School, Castledawson
  • Oakland Primary School open, but nursery and after-school children's centre closed
  • Clea Primary School, County Armagh


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SEE ALSO
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