Friday, 24 November 2017

Scotland weather: Rush hour warning over Ophelia wind

Ophelia wind

MANCHESTER: High winds and rain are continuing to sweep across Scotland in the wake of Hurricane Ophelia, bringing warnings of possible rush hour disruption.

Met Office yellow warnings remain in place for much of southern, central and eastern Scotland after wind speeds hit 75mph in some areas on Monday.

Dozens of trees have been blown down, causing disruption to some rail services.

And motorists have been urged to take extra care on the roads.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has issued 14 flood warnings – meaning flooding is expected – and several flood alerts – meaning flooding is possible – for the west coast of Scotland.

High wind warnings are in place on the Erskine, Clackmannanshire, Tay and Friarton bridges, and on the new Queensferry Crossing, with drivers being advised to use caution.

Freight train

Many west coast ferry services have been cancelled due to the weather.

Meanwhile, ScotRail said the line at Markinch had been blocked after a freight train hit a fallen tree, causing severe disruption to services throughout Fife..

Services between Glasgow Central and Neilston were also disrupted after the high winds caused a tree to fall on the track.

The remnants of the hurricane are expected to head out over the North Sea later on Tuesday, with the weather improving dramatically by late afternoon.

The Met Office yellow warnings cover areas including Angus, Perthshire, Fife, Falkirk, Stirling, Edinburgh and the Lothians, Lanarkshire and the Borders, and will remain in place until 15:00 on Tuesday.

Ireland suffered the worst of the storm on Monday, with two men and a woman killed as winds of almost 100mph caused widespread disruption.

In Scotland, police advised only essential travel in Galloway on Monday evening as high winds saw roofs being blown off buildings in Castle Douglas and Dumfries, and scaffolding brought down in Kirkcudbright.

Dozens of trees were blown down, blocking roads across the region – including, at one point, the A75 trunk road at Creetown – and more than 1,300 homes were left without electricity.

‘Drive with care’

Overnight more than 190 calls were made to police in Dumfries and Galloway, many of which were weather-related.

“In particular, calls relating to fallen trees blocking roads were prevalent and at this stage there are still a number of minor roads affected by fallen trees and branches, from Langholm and Moffat in the east of the region through to Stranraer and Portpatrick in the west”, a Police Scotland spokesman said.

“At this time all major routes through the region are open. Police Scotland urge those heading out to work or on other business to still drive with care.”

He said no one had been injured during the storm and he added: “A number of homes in the region have remained without power overnight and efforts are under way to bring power back to those affected.

“In this regard communities are asked to check on those who might be described as vulnerable neighbours and, where safe to do so, to check on their welfare.”

Police said the worst of the conditions appeared to have passed late on Monday night.

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