Scotland storm: Work to restore power to homes

Scotland stormThe Scottish government is warning that some people may not get the electricity back on in their homes until the weekend after the worst storm in a decade.

Engineers are battling to reconnect about 60,000 homes which were without power on Thursday night.Most schools are expected to reopen after many councils and businesses closed early on Thursday.There is still some disruption to rail services.Overnight severe winds washed away part of a causeway road on the Orkney island of Hoy.Part of the road surface of the Ayre, which links the communities of Hoy and South Walls, broke up after 22:00 on Thursday and the road remains completely inpassable.There are fears more damage could be caused at high tide.

There are currently 800 homes without power across the islands.In Aberdeen, three families were evacuated from a tenement in the Kincorth area after the gable end of a house collapsed on to a car.No-one was injured.The families have been put up in emergency accommodation until the building can be made safe.Grampian Police said there had been several early morning road crashes in which motorists had driven into trees lying on the road.In the Highlands, the Skye Bridge remains closed to high-sided vehicles.Storm-force winds on Thursday brought down trees, closed roads and knocked out power lines.

Engineers will carry on work to reconnect customers at first light, but the Scottish government warned some may be without power until the weekend.Winds on Thursday reached up to 165mph (264km/h) at Cairngorm Summit and at low level 105mph (168km/h), at Tulloch Bridge.The A9 was blocked by fallen trees in Tayside, leaving dozens of cars stuck, but has reopened southbound.The severe weather hit many other parts of the UK, including:Three people were rescued by helicopter after their car was swept into a swollen river in Swaledale, North Yorkshire.

In Cumbria, heavy rain caused flooding in the Windermere area, with road closures and reports of vehicles stuck in water.More than 300 passengers were stranded on the Rotterdam-Hull ferry off the East Yorkshire coast. The Pride of Hull, was unable to dock, after fears that high winds could damage the P&O ship as it entered port.Gales in Northern Ireland were predicted to reach 80mph (128km/h) along the north coast.North Wales was hit hit by wind, with the strongest gust of 81mph (130km/h) recorded at Aberdaron on the tip of the Lleyn peninsula, with 70 mph (110km/h) at Mumbles Head, Swansea.

Parts of Northern Ireland experienced disruption due to strong winds, with gales reaching 80mph along the north coast.The Scottish government said the storms had eased over the central belt.However, it warned of severe weather affecting mainly the Highlands, Moray and north Aberdeenshire.On Thursday evening about 50,000 Scottish and Southern Energy/Scottish Hydro customers were left without electricity, along with about 8,000 Scottish Power customers.SSE Power Distribution said: “We currently have 50,000 customers off supply because of storm damage.”We are working hard to restore power where safe to do so.

“We have 100 extra engineers drafted in from the south of England giving over 600 in total working to restore power.”The company expected to stand down staff at 22:00 and restart at first light but warned that more customers could lose power overnight before things get better.The main areas affected are Tiree, Oban, Fort William, Kippen, Callander, Coupar Angus, Huntly and Ballater.Vulnerable customers have been contacted to ensure appropriate measures are in place.Northern Constabulary warned that it was expected Caithness and North Sutherland could be badly affected by snow and very high winds through the night.

Across Scotland local authorities have been assessing structural damage to schools and council properties.Many were hoping that schools and nurseries could reopen on Friday, but some were due to asses the situation in the morning.Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who has been chairing the Scottish government’s resilience committee, said: “While the worst of the weather has subsided across the central belt, other areas of the country are still experiencing severe conditions.

“Contractors are working hard to resolve remaining issues on our roads and with power supplies.”I would urge all members of the public to continue to take care and heed advice from police and travel authorities.”The situation across the country will be monitored overnight and the resilience committee will meet again at 08:30 hours tomorrow morning to assess the position.”However, Ms Sturgeon warned that some customers may not be reconnected before the weekend. – BBC