The Beast is Biting
The public safety advice for people to shelter indoors has been withdrawn as the blizzard conditions have passed.
The National Emergency Coordination Group issued the update earlier, but a red weather warning has been extended into Saturday for several areas.
The red snow-ice warning for Dublin, Kildare, Wexford, Wicklow and Meath will be in place until 9.00am on Saturday.
Met Éireann say snow accumulations are continuing to increase significantly due to further heavy falls of snow.
A status orange snow-ice warning for Munster, Carlow, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Offaly, Westmeath, Cavan, Monaghan and Galway is also in place until 9.00am Saturday.
While a status yellow snow-ice warning for Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo has also been extended.
Snow depths (cm) recorded this morning from some of our network of Voluntary Observers. Many thanks— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) March 2, 2018
Co. Wicklow 54
Co. Wexford 34
Co. Cork 25
Co. Tipperary 20
Co. Meath 13
Reminder that warnings have been extended to 9am Sat pic.twitter.com/moj6xk83c8
ESB Networks says around 34,000 homes and businesses are without power with Dublin, Louth, Kildare and Offaly the worst affected.
Public transport continues to be impacted - flights are grounded at the country’s airports and won’t resume until tomorrow.
So this is what a ‘Red Alert for heavy snowfall’ actually looks like @DublinAirport. We’ll have further updates in the morning. Stay safe. #StormEmma #BeastFromTheEast #Snow pic.twitter.com/ENajr7xaFX— Dublin Airport (@DublinAirport) March 2, 2018
Some 260 passengers were forced to sleep in Dublin Airport overnight.
It's eerily quiet here @DublinAirport this morning where all flights grounded until tomorrow morning. Around 260 slept here overnight #StormEmma #beastfromtheast @NewstalkFM @TodayFMNews @98FM @AerLingus @Ryanair pic.twitter.com/wGWtRrv3DZ— Paul Quinn (@pdquinn7) March 2, 2018
There’s no Irish Rail, Dublin Bus or Luas services today.
But Irish Rail says it will start operating from midday on Saturday at the earliest.
Full details are available on the Irish Rail website.
Luas says services will not operate on Saturday morning – but a decision on when service can resume will be made at around 9.00am tomorrow.
Bus Éireann is hoping to operate limited services Saturday, while Dublin Bus hopes to operate services tomorrow, dependent on road and weather conditions.
Please see https://t.co/GkL4FmFo1J for the most up to date information on Luas services today 2nd March and tomorrow 3rd March.— Luas (@Luas) March 2, 2018
A Shannon Airport spokeswoman confirmed the airport will re-open at 5.00am on Saturday, weather permitting.
In a statement, Ryanair says it plans to return to operations at all Irish airports tomorrow.
"We recommend customers check the status of their flight at Ryanair.com before making their way to the airport."
But it says it expects some further disruptions, and has had to cancel a number of flights to/from Dublin Airport.
It says all affected customers have already been notified of their options by email and text message.
While Aer Lingus says its Dublin short haul flight schedule will be disrupted tmorrow, with early morning flights cancelled and most operations not commencing until after 10.00am.
"We expect flights to/from Cork, Belfast, Knock to operate as scheduled. This is subject to further update.
"We await information on when Shannon is expected to become operational and we will update when this is confirmed".
Passengers are being directed to the Aer Lingus website
Gardaí have again urged motorists to avoid unnecessary journeys - with many roads remaining impassable.
Local authorities are prioritising the reopening of national routes and many smaller roads are still treacherous for driving.
Gardaí are asking people to remain off the roads unless absolutely necessary
Gritter in Athlone Town heading off to refill. The roads in town are gritted and passable, housing estates and rural roads are still treacherous but it’s beginning to thaw @NewstalkFM @TodayFMNews #StormEmma ireland pic.twitter.com/mP4tXrOX1a— Gail Conway (@Gailiana) March 2, 2018
Emergency services around the country have been praised for their work overnight as the country braved some of the most severe conditions in decades.
Dublin Fire Brigade responded to a number of incidents last night - including a fire in Rathmines.
Officers have warned that even though the instruction to remain indoors has been lifted, people should still be sensible.
Colm Sherlock, from North Strand Fire Station gave Today Fm reporter Juliette Gash this advice:
Thousands of homes have also been left without water with burst mains and boil notices in numerous areas - there are major issues in Galway and Wicklow.
Authorities say it could be several hours before the full extent of the damage is known.