Heavy snow by storm Gertrude disrupts life, traffic in Scotland

Published on : Saturday, January 30, 2016

snow stormJust hours after Storm Gertrude brought a day of high winds and rain, Scotland has been hit by heavy snow which sent normal life out of gear and disrupted traffic.

Up to 15cm (6in) of snow was forecast for some places above 300m.

A yellow “be aware” warning is in force for the whole of Scotland while the Met Office has issued amber be prepared warnings for snow and high winds for areas north of the central belt until 18:00 on Saturday.

The snow followed a day of disruption due to high winds brought by Storm Gertrude, with a gust of 105mph recorded in Shetland.

The weather led to schools being shut, power cuts, bridges closing and delays across Scotland’s transport network.

More than 1,000 homes in the north of the country were without power on Saturday morning, BBC reported, even as Scottish Hydro engineers worked through the night to restore electricity supplies.

According to the website, in total, power has been restored to 17,000 customers. But there are a further 1,200 who lost power overnight due to wind and lightning strikes.

According to BBC, the areas affected are Fort William, Wick, Orkney and the Western Isles. The company expects to have them all reconnected by lunchtime.

West coast ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne said to BBC that its services in the north were facing significant disruption on Saturday and advised passengers to check before travelling.

In order to clear backlogs, the company will operate additional or amended sailings on Sunday on a number of routes, including Coll and Tiree, Lochboisdale and Barra, and Colonsay.

Two islands off Shetland, Yell and Fetlar, which were inaccessible on Friday because ferries were suspended due to the bad weather, have now been reconnected.

Further disruption to the rail network is also possible over the weekend, reports BBC.
Because of the high winds in Shetland, a rare red warning – meaning danger to life – was issued on Friday.

Tomorrow’s forecast indicates a lull in the weather. However, warnings for the arrival of Storm Henry on Monday could lead to more problems.

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