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Water restrictions in hospitals to continue after Storm Emma

Water restrictions and pressure on hospital services will continue in the coming days and weeks in the aftermath of the Storm Emma, writes Juno McEnroe.

While day-to-day life returns to normal in most parts of the country, a snow and ice warning remains for a number of areas in the east and south-east, as well as the risk of flooding.

Temperatures could fall tonight as low as -3C or lower if there is a break in the cloud in eastern parts.

With high tide later today in Dublin and river heights increasing in Wexford, there are risks of flooding. This risk has passed in the south. In general, an Orange warning remains in place for the country for the next 24 hours.

The National Emergency Coordination Group stressed that the biggest problems in the clean up after the snow storm was “huge pressures” on water and health services in the coming days.

Over 40,000 HSE appointments were cancelled last Thursday and Friday and these must be rescheduled.

Over 1,000 ambulance calls were also responded to in recent days and many patients have not been able to return home after treatment. All non-elective surgery has been cancelled in hospitals today, it was announced.

The HSE confirmed that difficulties for services particularly in hospitals would continue for up to two weeks. Doctors representatives have called for a state of emergency to be announced.

Meanwhile, homes in the Dublin will see their water restricted in the coming days.

Pressure will be restricted "across the board" for the region, between the hours of 7pm and 7am, it was announced. This follows huge spikes in demand for water.

An extra 20 million litres in the water system was needed yesterday compared to the day before. Overall, some 60m litres in water is being demanded more than a normal day, it was added.

Irish Water is trying to fix leaks in Athlone, east Meath and Longford among areas.

People are being asked to minimise toilet flushes or shower usage for the coming days.

Elsewhere, near all homes that lost electricity have been reconnected and most bus and rail services are now running at normal capacity.