Highlands & Islands

Storm Abigail: All power supplies 'to be restored overnight'

Snow at the Slochd Image copyright Traffic Scotland
Image caption Snow showers followed Thursday's high winds and heavy rain

All power supplies lost in Scotland due to Storm Abigail are expected to be restored overnight.

However, SSE Power Distribution warned that further power cuts could take place due to lightning.

At its height, 20,000 properties were affected with about 500 customers still affected in the Western Isles, Shetland, Skye, Colonsay, Argyll and Angus on Friday afternoon.

The storm brought gusts of up to 84mph to parts of Scotland.

All schools on the Western Isles and Shetland were closed on Friday for safety reasons.

High winds and rain were followed by wintry showers which affected driving conditions on the A9 at the Slochd in the Highlands.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Waves crashing in at Saltcoats in Ayrshire

Hills, including mountain tops in the Cairngorms and Lochaber, had fresh falls of snow.

On Friday night, an SSE Power Distribution spokesman said: "We expect all customers affected by Storm Abigail to be back on supply tonight.

"More faults are likely on Friday night due to lightning, possibly causing further power cuts to our customers.

"Our engineers will continue to work into the night to repair any faults. We would like to apologise to any customers who have experienced a power cut and we thank them for their patience and understanding while we worked hard to restore their power.'

Lightning strikes were the main cause of the problems on Friday.

Image caption Repairs being made to wind-blown damage in Shetland

The Met Office had an amber "be prepared" warning in place on Thursday for northern and western Scotland, but this was later downgraded .

Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne said 23 of its 26 services on the Clyde and Hebrides network had been disrupted.

A number of Northlink's Northern Isles ferry services were also affected. Early morning sailings between Stromness and Scrabster were cancelled.

On Thursday, a ferry travelling from Skye to Raasay was prevented from docking for three hours due to stormy conditions.

The journey would normally have taken 20 minutes, but CalMac confirmed the vessel - which had five Portree High School pupils on board - was at sea for longer than usual.

Image copyright Della Cheshire
Image caption A ferry, just visible in this picture, with five school pupils onboard had to contend with bad weather earlier on Thursday

Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team rescued a hillwalker who attempted to climb Ben Nevis via Observatory Gully as the weather closed in.

After the operation on Thursday evening, the team posted on social media that "on the scale of difficulty this route is certain death".

The casualty was found with chest injuries and lowered to safety at about 20:30.

The team added: "A very difficult rescue in atrocious weather with a very good outcome."

Further yellow warnings have been issued for central and southern Scotland for Saturday into the early hours of Monday and there are warnings of heavy rain.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has warned of the risk of flooding over the next few days.

Image caption BBC weather watcher Angela took this picture from near her home on Skye

Check out the latest travel news for Scotland

Image copyright PA

Around the country

For the latest on the roads visit the BBC's travel news page and keep up to date with incidents and roadworks on the motorways here.

Around the country you can check for updates from:

Alternatively, for regular travel bulletins listen live to BBC Radio Scotland and follow @BBCTravelScot.

In times of severe disruption you can also follow the BBC Scotland severe weather Twitter list of key sources.

Below are a number of other traffic information sources.

Other links


By early on Thursday evening, the strongest gust recorded by the Met Office was 75mph, on South Uist.

Shortly after 19:00, police in the Western Isles tweeted: "Most roads in the Southern Isles are affected by High Winds and water - if your journey is not necessary please stay at home meantime."

SSE Power Distribution warned that "a significant number of customers will wake up tomorrow with no power".

Police reported a number of trees down across Dumfries and Galloway and there was disruption to some west coast rail services.

Abigail is the first storm to be officially named by the Met Office.

Earlier this year the Met Office asked the public for suggestions for name suggestions.

The storm's approach has been tracked by BBC Weather Watchers. View their pictures here.

Follow the course of Storm Abigail in maps

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites