Highlands & Islands

Severe gales leave 4,100 without power

Swell chart Image copyright Magicseaweed.com
Image caption A swell charts showing swell of 40ft in the sea off the Western Isles later on Monday

About 4,100 homes are without power after high winds buffeted much of Scotland on Monday.

By 18:00 on Monday, gusts of 89mph had been recorded on South Uist and 83mph on Skye.

The Met Office had predicted severe gales for most areas, with a yellow "be aware" warning of high winds in place.

The electricity provider SSE has drafted in hundreds of extra staff to help deal with any disruption to power supplies.

Outages were reported in several areas. At the height of the problems, there were 4,500 properties without power.

Edinburgh had gusts of more than 60mph, with similar winds recorded in many other areas.

The Met Office has also warned of large waves developing around the coast, especially in the north and west.

Schools closed

Firefighters were called out to try to stop the roof being blow off a building in Earlish near Uig on the Isle of Skye and a bus went off the road on the A82 near the Glencoe ski centre - although no-one was injured.

The Tay Road Bridge, Kessock Bridge and Dornoch Bridge were closed to all traffic on Monday evening, while several other major bridges - including the Forth Road, Erskine and Clackmannanshire - were closed to high sided vehicles.

Earlier in the day, all schools on Uist and Barra had been closed and 23 of ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne's 26 services were disrupted.

Several Monday evening bus services, including Stornoway to Point, were also cancelled.

Image copyright Andrew Robertson
Image caption Flooding near Maryburgh in the Highlands

Shawbost Swimming Pool in Shawbost on the west side of Lewis and Liniclate Sports Centre in Benbecula were also closed.

Transport Minister Derek Mackay said travel across large parts of Scotland could be challenging during the worst of the weather.

He said: "Due to high winds and seasonal weather there are a number of disruptions and cancellations to ferry services.

"This kind of disruption is not uncommon at this time of year.

"All operators are actively informing their customers through notifications on their websites, emails, text messages and direct contact of disruption and cancellations to services."

He added: "ScotRail and Network Rail have also drafted in additional resources and have made contingency plans.

"Passengers should expect some cancellations, especially on coastal routes. All passengers should check operators websites for the latest information."

Image caption Swollen waters at Rogie Falls near Dingwall
Image caption The falls were among places where water levels were raised by heavy rain and snow melt

Highlands and Islands Local Resilience Partnership, which involves police and local authorities, warned that there was the potential for some disruption to power supplies.

Lewis-based Dr Edward Graham, of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), said the south westerly Atlantic storm was a typical winter storm of the kind usually seen in February.

Dr Graham added: "The storm is not going to be the hurricane we had in January, but winds of over 70mph are still dangerous."

Image copyright Andrew Thomson
Image caption The River Ness in Inverness burst its banks
Image copyright Andrew thomson
Image caption Whin Park near the River Ness in Inverness was flooded at the weekend

A swell chart produced by surfers' website Magicseaweed predicts swells of up 40ft off the Western Isles on Monday evening.

The gales follow bad weather over the weekend which caused flooding in large parts of the Highlands.

One person was treated for injuries after fire crews evacuated eight residents from the flooded Lovat Bridge Caravan Park near the River Beauly in Beauly on Sunday.

The A87 Invergarry to Kyle of Lochalsh road was closed by a 100 tonne landslide at Cluanie. The road is now passable.

Drumnadrochit, Maryburgh, Cannich and Inverness were also affected by flooding caused by heavy rain and snow melting at higher levels.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle's match against Raith Rovers in Inverness had to be postponed because of a water logged pitch.

A Met Office amber weather warning had been in place for Friday and Saturday.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency said over the weekend river and loch levels in the north west had risen to some of the highest levels on record.

Image copyright Andrew Thomson
Image caption Sepa said river levels across the Highlands rose to record levels over the weekend
Image copyright Seonaidh Mackenzie
Image caption Flooding at Aberchalder near Fort Augustus

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