In Portarlington the Meals on Wheels volunteers had to cancel deliveries last Thursday, due to the impassable roads. They rang all their clients or their families to check that they were ok.
Port Social Services cooks and deliver 150 hot meals a week, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Volunteers were willing to come in to their centre and cook the meals, but the decision had to be made to hold off for safety reasons said committee member Ann Dunne.
It was the first time in 46 years we ever had to cancel. In town the roads were not too bad but around Killenard, Ballybrittas and Rath, snowdrifts were up past the hedges. Even on Saturday they were still pretty bad, far worse than 2010,” she said.
On Saturday volunteer Shane O’Neill brought deliveries in his 4×4, but in one location the final few yards were made by volunteers on foot carrying boxes of meals through deep snow.
“We made a nice stew on Saturday and gave some people double meals. A lot of people didn’t expect us to call and they really appreciated it. Some people already had calls from neighbours to check they were ok,” Ms Dunne said.
Finding the ingredients even posed a problem because the three big supermarkets shut for the storm.
“Trying to find vegetables and milk was hard but we managed it by relying on the small shops,” Ms Dunne said.
She is concerned for very isolated residents around the area, as the snow melts.
“I could see a possibility of finding people who have died, hopefully there are no fatalities,” she said.
Picture: Ann Dunne bringing some Meals on Wheels by foot to a house.