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Hundreds of homes left without power as wintry conditions continue to cause chaos across the north and north-east

SSEN Engineers are currently working to restore power to households in Orkney, Shetland and Aberdeenshire.
SSEN Engineers are currently working to restore power to households in Orkney, Shetland and Aberdeenshire.

Households across the north and north-east have been left in the dark this evening as wintry weather batters the north.

More than 390 properties in Aberdeenshire and the Highlands and Islands have been left with no power as gale force winds sweep across northern Scotland.

A total of 94 properties in the AB43 and AB42 postcode areas are currently offline due to a number of faults, followed by a further 28 properties in the DD10 postcode area.

Properties in the IV30 postcode area near Burghead have also reported a loss of power amidst the conditions.

A total of 271 properties in Shetland with the postcode ZE2 are currently without power due to a fault as well as a number of properties with the KW17 postcode in Orkney.

Engineers from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) are currently onsite at each location working to resolve the issues, with hopes of having power online no later than 11pm this evening.

The faults add to a day of misery and disruption for many as wintry conditions brought chaos to Scotland’s roads and transport network.

Yellow weather warnings for snow and wind have been in place since the early hours and remain in place until tomorrow morning.

Both the Met Office and Sepa issued warnings and alerts to those living across the north and north-east ahead of that bad weather.

Disruption on the roads

The adverse weather has forced the closure of the Lecht road this evening.

The snow gates on the A939 Nairn to Ballater road remain closed between Cock Bridge and Tomintoul due to heavy snowfall.

Motorists travelling on the A96 Inverness to Aberdeen trunk road between Elgin and Pitcaple have also been experiencing difficult conditions due to heavy snow fall.

Motorists travelling on the A93 between Mains of Drum and Pereculter have been facing delays after a tree came down, blocking one side of the carriageway.

In the Highland Capital, huge queues formed at the Raigmore Interchange on the A9 Inverness to Perth road after the route was closed in both directions due to conditions.

A Coop lorry was amongst the vehicles sliding on Drumossie Brae.

Both the northbound and southbound lanes have reopened.

Powerful wave crashing over the harbour wall in Cullen, Moray earlier today.

Further south, drivers attempting to pass through the Slochd Summit have been enduring similar conditions due to large amounts of snow on the road.

Gritters have been out in force today working to clear the roads, but users have been urged to drive with caution during the spell of bad weather and to expect longer journey times.

Chaos at the coast

Meanwhile, coastal communities have also been on high alert after being warned that the high winds could cause a surge and some local flooding.

Macduff, Burghead, Lossiemouth, Spey Bay and Garmouth were among those on alert at high tide.

In Buckie, huge waves could be seen battering the harbour wall and coming right over the top of it.

In Cullen, some walkers were caught out as the waves crashed onto the pier.

These walkers were caught out by the waves in Cullen earlier today. Picture by Jason Hedges.

Moray Council advised people to avoid coastal areas.

In a post on social media, they said: “Due to high winds and spring tides we advise people to stay away from coastal areas, particularly around Lossiemouth harbour where there is a risk of overtopping of waves today from lunchtime. Snow is forecast for later today too.”

Services and transport cancelled

NHS Highland has announced its Covid clinic in Aviemore will be cancelled tomorrow, January 5, due to the forecast.

CalMac ferry services, which were already operating on a reduced timetable, have been cancelled and delayed due to stormy seas.

NorthLink ferries have also cancelled sailings between Stromness and Scrabster have been cancelled, stopovers in Orkney have been cancelled and sailings between Aberdeen and Lerwick are likely to take longer than usual.

Stagecoach announced many of its services operating around the Highlands would be cancelled due to untreated roads.

The Skye and Dornoch Bridges are both closed to high sided vehicles as a result of high winds.

Trains in the area between Carrbridge and Inverness are subject to delays because of three signaling faults caused by heavy snow.

Highland Wildlife Park, just south of Aviemore, remained closed today due to heavy snow.

 

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