Met Eireann has extended its level red weather warning to Galway, where the public are asked to remain indoors until 6 pm this evening.

The status red warning now applies to Leinster, Munster & Galway, with sub-zero temperatures and significant snow accumulations expected.

A less severe status orange snow and ice warning is in place for the counties of Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal, Cavan & Monaghan.

That warning remains in place until 6 pm this evening as forecasters expect scattered heavy snow showers and icy conditions.

Storm Emma has brought heavy snow and blizzard-like conditions to parts of the country overnight- mainly in the east & southeast of the country.

ESB Networks says 23,800 homes and businesses are without power – the majority of these in the East & Northeast of the country.

Derek Hynes, operations manager with ESB Networks, said crews will have difficulty accessing regional areas to restore power.

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.

Schools and colleges across the West remain closed today, while public transport is practically at a standstill.

Ireland West Airport Knock, Shannon and Dublin Airports are closed today, and flights won’t resume until tomorrow.

No train services are operating today, and Bus Eireann has cancelled its intercity bus services, but say they may run some services in Connacht, depending on road conditions locally.

Authorities say it could be several hours before the full extent of the damage is known.

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