Scotland

Thousands of homes still without power after Storm Ali

Engineers working to restore power Image copyright SP Energy Networks
Image caption SP Energy Networks engineers carry out repair work after a tree crashed down onto an overhead line

About 5,000 homes are still without power after Storm Ali caused widespread disruption across Scotland.

SP Energy Networks said the affected properties were mainly in the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway.

Engineers worked through the night to restore electricity to 65,000 customers.

Transport links are returning to normal, with railway lines and roads being cleared of fallen trees and other debris.

The Tay Road Bridge, where a wind gust of 102.2mph was recorded on Wednesday, reopened at about 15:40.

All other bridges and main roads are open.

It has also emerged that a P2 pupil at Trinity Primary School in Edinburgh was injured when a branch fell from a tree during the storm.

City of Edinburgh Council said it had cordoned off the area and was inspecting trees in the playground. Pupils are being kept inside during break times.

Image copyright Alamy
Image caption There was widespread disruption to the rail network

Guy Jefferson, distribution director with SP Energy Networks, told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "They [customers] can rest assured we are doing our absolute best to get everyone back on today if we can possibly do that.

"There have been some devastating winds through that area and it would be fair to say there has been carnage in some areas with the amount of trees that are down and that's been our biggest issue."

Mobile catering set up in Dumfries and Galloway

SP Energy Networks has arranged for two mobile catering facilities to be set up in Dumfries and Galloway on Thursday afternoon for residents still affected by power outages.

The vans will be located at: (from 14.30) Parkgate Village car park, Beech Avenue, Parkgate and (from 16.00) Parton Village, Castle Douglas, at the side of the A713 Ayr to Castle Douglas Road.

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Media captionSevere gales as Storm Ali hits Scotland

He added: "It's very unusual to get this level of wind in September - I believe it's probably one of the worst wind storms we've had in September in living memory."

He said trees were still "full of leaf" at this time of year, which makes them more susceptible to high winds.

"We've seen numerous trees down and through the [power] lines and we've seen a lot of branches come off the trees and travel some distance into the lines, which obviously causes a problem.

"It breaks the wood poles and there is significant damage to repair today to get everyone back on.

"Some of our engineers had problems standing up yesterday, so actually climbing up a pole is extremely dangerous."

Image copyright JOHN BYNORTH/ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTI
Image caption A tree hit a bus carrying a football team from the University of Dundee

Rail, road and ferry links were badly disrupted during the storm.

ScotRail said it had been forced to run some services with fewer carriages because of damage caused to trains at the height of the storm.

It posted pictures of smashed windscreens and broken windows on its rolling stock.

All services from Glasgow Central to Ayr/Largs/Ardrossan were suspended during morning rush-hour due to new reports of an obstruction on the overhead wires at Dalry. A staggered service was later introduced.

A number of local train services in the central belt are also still disrupted - some as a result of problems between Springburn and Cumbernauld.

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Media captionHundreds of passengers queued at Buchanan Street Station in Glasgow - many for more than an hour

Network Rail engineers are dealing with a tree blocking the line between Kilmarnock and Troon.

There have also been delays and cancellations on the Fife Circle during the Thursday morning rush-hour.

ScotRail said travellers with unused tickets from Wednesday would be able to use them on Thursday.

Image copyright Simon McMillan
Image caption Fallen trees affected both rural and urban roads

A few local roads are shut across the country and police say drivers should take care in case there is debris on the road.

Three schools in Dumfries and Galloway - Ae Primary, Amisfield Primary and the Elmbank Centre - remain shut due to electricity or water leak issues.

Storm chaos

  • A gust of 102.2mph was recorded on the Tay Road Bridge
  • 500 cruise passengers and crew were stranded in Greenock after severe weather broke their ship's mooring lines. Tugs were called in to assist the Nautica
  • One person was injured after being blown over by high winds outside the new V&A Dundee museum, which was later closed
  • In Glasgow, a cyclist was taken to hospital after he was struck by a falling tree branch.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson chaired a meeting of the Scottish government's resilience committee to review the impact of the storm and to co-ordinate the official response.

Mr Matheson said: "As predicted, there has been disruption to transport, with the rail network being hit particularly hard by these high winds.

"Whilst the disruption to travellers is regrettable, I would like to thank everyone who heeded the travel advice, as well as the many emergency response staff who have worked tirelessly to attend to challenges throughout the day."

He added: "Both the Scottish government's resilience room as well as the multi-agency response team in South Queensferry will remain operational for as long as is required."

Image copyright Shona Pew
Image caption A large cruise liner was caught in the storm off Greenock

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