Forget iPhones and celebrity perfumes, the hottest (literally) items on Longford shopping lists this Christmas were heaters, infra-red bulbs, and electric blankets.
Stockists of electrical appliances throughout County Longford have reported a surge in sales during the cold spell. The arctic-like weather conditions that rendered homes without water and roads impassable, led Longford consumers to stock up on a variety of electrical goods. Hardware stores also reported a surge in sales of household items such as buckets and water containers.
"We sold out of everything to do with heating; infra-red bulbs for the attic, electric heaters and blankets. We also sold out of water containers. They ran out very quickly, particularly the 30 litre and 40 litre containers for carrying water," said Eugene McGinnity of Providers.
"All the fan heaters were sold out too. Although we got a barrage of phone calls, we just couldn't help everyone."
For Eugene, it was the biggest surge of its kind in heating equipment since the early 1980s.
"I saw it back in 1982 alright. It was like that then as well and it was big enough then too," he said.
It was a similar story at Homebase in the N4 Axis Centre, Longford.
"We sold out of convector heaters and insulation blankets for around the tanks. There were also massive sales in plumbing materials for obvious reasons when the thaw set in," said Frank O'Connor, Manager at Homebase. "We also sold out of electric blankets."
At Crossan's Electrical in Longford town the story continued.
"We had stock up until a day or two before Christmas but after that we were sold out of electrical heaters and lamps," said Enda Crossan, in speaking the Leader.
"It was due to the two spells which came in quick succession."
However, not all retailers benefited from the weather conditions over the Christmas period and the President of Longford Chamber of Commerce has called for major investment in water infrastructure.