Northern Ireland

NI weather causes further travel disruption

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Media captionIt snowed heavily in Rathfriland, County Down, and many other parts of Northern Ireland

Snow and ice has caused significant travel disruption in many parts of Northern Ireland and police have warned motorists to drive with care.

Many rural bus services have been affected and a small number of schools have been closed in County Down and parts of counties Tyrone and Antrim.

Several roads that were blocked by fallen trees during gale force winds on Thursday remain closed on Friday.

A list of road closures is available on Transport NI's Trafficwatch website.

'Treacherous conditions'

They include the Hillsborough Road, Lisburn, County Antrim, where a man was killed when his van was hit by a fallen tree on Thursday morning.

The public transport company Translink said there was disruption to some of its services in counties Armagh, Down, Londonderry, Tyrone and Antrim on Friday.

It said there were reports of "treacherous road conditions" around Claudy, Dungiven, Strabane and Omagh and school bus services in these areas would be affected.

Image copyright David Scott
Image caption Translink said no bus services were operating in or out of Rathfriland bus depot in County Down due to the weather

It said most "back road" rural bus services in Armagh would not operate on Friday morning due to to heavy snow.

The company added that no bus services were operating in or out of Rathfriland bus depot in County Down.

Weather warnings

Full details of public transport changes are available on the Translink website.

Image copyright BBC Conor Macauley
Image caption Our reporter Conor Macauley sent us this scene of the snow in Loughbrickland, County Down
Image copyright Deborah Anderson
Image caption BBC News NI reader Deborah Anderson tweeted this picture of heavily congested traffic in Lisburn due to overnight snowfall

BBC Northern Ireland weather presenter Geoff Maskell said the snow showers were forecast to ease through the morning to leave some brighter spells.

However, he said the sleet and snow showers are expected to return on Friday evening and weather warnings for snow and ice remain in place.

Image copyright Ann Hackett
Image caption The view from BBC News NI reader Ann Hackett's home in Omagh, County Tyrone, on Friday morning
Image copyright Helen Dunne
Image caption Helen Dunne sent in this beautiful photo of her morning view as snow fell across parts of Lisburn overnight

The severe weather over the last few days has created dangerous conditions in several parts of Northern Ireland, especially for motorists and pedestrians.

Two teenage girls were blown against a bus in Belfast during high winds on Thursday morning. They were taken to hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

Emergency crews

In the east of the city, three people including a child of three and a 75-year-old woman were injured when a pallet blew off a lorry in Connswater.

Meanwhile, emergency repair crews have worked throughout the night to restore power to customers who lost their electricity supply during Thursday's storm.

A total of 7,000 homes and businesses experienced power cuts over the last 24 hours as gale-force winds caused damage to the electricity network.

Image copyright Wendy Austin
Image caption BBC Radio Ulster presenter Wendy Austin tweeted this picture of snowfall in Hillsborough, County Down
Image caption Gale force winds caused damage to the electricity network in many parts of Northern Ireland on Thursday

Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) said incident centres in the affected areas stayed open to co-ordinate the effort.

By 07:00 GMT on Friday, only a handful of customers were still without power.

A NIE spokeswoman said about 12 households were waiting on repairs, but their supply was expected to be restored shortly.

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