Storm Barra: Scotland battered by wind and snow

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A fallen tree blocks the A702 near Coulter in South Lanarkshire

Scotland was battered by wind and snow on a day of disruption caused by Storm Barra.

Met Office warnings of extreme conditions covering most of the country were in place until midnight.

Gusts of 69mph were recorded in West Freugh, near Stranraer, while up to 4in (10cm) of snow fell in some places.

The harsh weather left 1,700 homes without power in the north east and also caused school closures and delays across the transport network.

A Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks spokesman said: "We are re-routing the network to restore customer supplies quickly where possible, and all faults will be worked on this evening and into the night."

Earlier on Tuesday evening, several parts of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire reported power cuts, including postcodes in Portlethen, Cults, Sauchen and Fyvie.

Some areas are still recovering from damage and power cuts less than two weeks after being hit by the most severe conditions since the Beast from the East in 2018.

Braemar Mountain Rescue Team confirmed it was deploying to rescue a man stranded in the central Cairngorms.

In Dumfries and Galloway, Stranraer Academy was closed after wind caused structural damage to its roof. Four other schools in the region were also shut due to the extreme conditions.

Meanwhile, in South Lanarkshire a fallen tree closed the A702 between Lamington and Coulter.

Restrictions were in place on bridges across Scotland. Dornoch, Skye and Erskine bridges were closed to high-sided vehicles. The Forth road bridge was closed to double-decker buses and only cars and single-decker buses are allowed on the Tay bridge.

Snow also slowed traffic down on the M74 and M8.

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Aberdeenshire Council said that existing welfare arrangements would remain in place for the next few days as the severe weather arrived.

Thousands of householders lost their electricity connections when fallen trees damaged power lines during Storm Arwen on 26 November.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) restored supplies to 135,000 customers, with the final homes in Scotland left without power reconnected on Sunday.

Image source, Met Office
Image caption,
The wind warning has been extended to include Caithness

Parts of Aberdeenshire, Perthshire, Angus and Moray were among the areas worst hit. SSEN said it had extra teams on standby in case Storm Barra caused further power cuts.

The storm caused disruption to travel and resulted in some treacherous driving conditions.

Among the roads affected was the coastal A716 in Stranraer which was flooded.

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A wintry scene in Leadhills, South Lanarkshire
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A local man joins the clear up in the village

The avalanche hazard in the Northern Cairngorms was rated red - the Scottish Avalanche Information Service's (SAIS) second highest level.

The service warned of deep accumulations of unstable wind-blown snow.

SAIS had been providing a standby avalanche forecast for the Northern Cairngorms and Lochaber ahead of the latest season's full service starting on Friday.

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CalMac warned of possible disruption to its west coast ferry services on Tuesday and Wednesday due to the forecast for high winds.

It said sailings between Stornoway and Ullapool were liable to disruption or cancellation at short notice. All sailings between Kennacraig and Islay on Tuesday had been cancelled.

Stena Line cancelled all sailings from Cairnryan to Belfast after its 03:45 departure on Tuesday morning due to the weather.

The West Coast Mainline reopened on Tuesday evening after engineers repaired damaged overhead wires caused by a falling tree near Lockerbie.

Image source, SSEN
Image caption,
The clean up from Strom Arwen continued with Storm Barra approaching

Network Rail put plans in place for Storm Barra, including speed restrictions on services between Edinburgh and Aberdeen and Aberdeen and Inverness from 15:00 on Tuesday.

It said teams would be working throughout the warning period to keep lines open and safe for passengers and freight customers.

ScotRail also confirmed changes to several services, including the line between Stranraer and Girvan, which was closed all day.

And at 22:30 the Scottish Environment Protection Agency had 11 flood alerts and five flood warnings in place across the country.

The Scottish government said Transport Scotland, utility companies and local resilience partners had contingency plans in place ahead of any disruption.

A meeting of the Scottish government's resilience room, chaired by Deputy First Minister John Swinney, was held on Monday in preparation for Storm Barra.

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