Storm Emma has brought heavy snow and high winds to many parts of the country overnight, with Munster, Leinster and Galway the worst affected, with 23,800 homes and businesses without power.
Crews have been out overnight, but conditions are said to be very difficult.RTÉ
reports that it is unclear just how much snow has fallen in parts of the country but Met Éireann estimated last night that up to one metre could fall in parts of Dublin.
Emergency services are still trying to assess the situation and it will be later today before the full scale of damage is known.
Dublin Fire Brigade has reported a very busy night, with several trucks struggling to get through the snow drifts.Munster and Leinster appear to be the worst affected areas and thousands of homes are without power this morning.
ESB Networks said its crews are working to restore supplies, but it could be 8pm before power is restored to some of the worst affected areas.
The red snow-ice alert is still in place for Munster, Leinster and Galway and people there have been advised to remain indoors until the alert is lifted at 6pm.
Met Éireann said: "Blizzard conditions will continue this morning through Leinster, Munster and parts of Connacht with further accumulations of snow in strong and gusty northeasterly winds.
"The snow will be heaviest in the east and south of the country."
It said the highest temperatures will be between -1C and 3C.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said the risk to life presented by the severe weather conditions should not be underestimated by anyone.
Gardaí have issued numerous appeals to people not to drive in the severe conditions.
They say there are quite a number of people stuck in their cars in the snow in the Dublin area.
They are advising them to stay in their cars, leave their engines on and wait for help.
An orange snow-ice warning is in operation in Sligo, Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo and Roscommon.
Met Éireann has warned of scattered heavy snow showers and icy conditions throughout the day, with the alert not due to be lifted until 6pm this evening.
The severe weather conditions had already curtailed transport services across the country
There will be no Dublin Bus, Luas, DART or Iarnród Éireann services today, with decisions due to be taken on tomorrow’s services later today.
Hundreds of flights have been cancelled at Dublin Airport but it remains open as crews worked through the night to clear snow from the apron and taxiway.
Cork Airport, Kerry Airport, Shannon Airport and Ireland West Airport (Knock) will reopen on tomorrow morning, Saturday.
Schools, third level institutions and colleges of further education countrywide will be closed again today.
The HSE has cancelled all outpatient appointments and non-urgent surgeries for today. It said that the National Ambulance Service is prioritising emergency calls.
A warning of very high tides is in place in Cork and Dublin.
Storm Emma - Updates
weather warnings: Status Red Snow-ice Warning in place for for Munster,
Leinster and Galway; Status Orange Snow-ice Warning for Cavan,
Monaghan, Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo
- Thousands of homes and businesses, mostly in the east, without power
- Some households in Galway without water
- All schools, colleges and third level institutions are closed today - as are the courts;
- Bus Eireann:
Bus Eireann services are not running in both Leinster and Munster -
Connacht, West and Northwest may have limited services, subject to road
- HSE: Elective, non-urgent or outpatient appointments have been cancelled;
- Dublin Bus: There are no services today;
- Airports:Cork, Dublin, Shannon and Knock Airports have all suspended operations. All are expecting to reopen on Saturday morning.
- Irish Rail: Irish Rail services have now terminated are not expected to resume until Saturday morning at the earliest.