Strong winds are causing chaos across the north and north-east of Scotland today with disruption to traffic and schools.
Highland and Islands
The Dornoch Bridge has been closed to tall vehicles after a caravan was blown onto the A9.
It was initially shut to all traffic following the incident just before 5pm.
Meanwhile another caravan was blocking the A9 around 30 miles south of the bridge after it blew over in the high winds.
A 22-mile diversion via Bonar Bridge is in place.
Stagecoach have temporarily suspended services in Kirkwall for the rest of the evening due to the winds.
The high winds have disrupted Caledonian MacBrayne and Northlink ferry services.
The Dounreay nuclear site in Caithness has been closed to most staff.
Emergency services were called to the scene on Leggart Terrace at 2.30pm where a tree had fallen on an car. Someone was the car at the time of the incident but they were not hurt.
Elsewhere a large tree had blocked South Deeside Road in Aberdeen, but this was later removed.
However the road had to be closed again several hours later because of a fallen power line.
Aberdeenshire Council said a large tree is blocking a road between Mintlaw and Peterhead, and it will be removed in the morning.
A'Shire Winter Ops: We have closed a minor road C5B near Mintlaw Station. A LARGE tree blocking the way. We will deal with it in daylight tomorrow. The road runs across to just North of Peterhead. Find another route.
— Aberdeenshire Roads (@AbshireRoads) January 7, 2019
Meanwhile the Northlink Aberdeen to Lerwick service that was scheduled to depart at 7pm is now cancelled due to the conditions.
Air traffic has also been affected as an Easyjet flight with several flights to and from Aberdeen grounded or diverted because of the high winds.
Hundreds of homes across the region are without power this evening, as the wind has played havoc with overhead lines.
Most of the properties affected are in more rural areas including Inchlaggan, Tain and near Thurso.
Outages are also being experienced in Aberdeen, where powercuts are affected traffic lights in the Lang Stracht area.
An SSE spokesman said its engineers are working hard to restore all power.
It has also reminded people to call 105 to report any outages and receive support.
Police are warning all drivers across the country to take extra caution, following the yellow weather warning issued by the Met Office for between now and 6am tomorrow.
Chief Inspector Stewart Mackie, from Police Scotland’s Road Policing Division, said: “Very strong winds are expected to affect northern and eastern Scotland with gusts of 65-75 mph likely, particularly in the far north and north-east, before winds gradually ease from the west during Tuesday morning.
Areas most affected
- Na h-Eileanan Siar
- Orkney Islands
- Shetland Islands
He added: “Ensure you and your vehicle are adequately prepared for the conditions making sure you have sufficient fuel and supplies such as warm clothing, food and water in the event you are delayed for several hours. Charge your mobile phone and plan your route as well as alternative routes.
“If you are driving a vehicle which may be vulnerable to being blown over in such conditions along exposed routes including bridges, please exercise additional caution and plan your route to avoid exposed areas or consider cancelling your journey until conditions improve.
“Previous incidents have clearly shown the dangers of driving such vehicles and the subsequent danger created for other road users, emergency services and recovery operatives where incidents have occurred due to drivers ignoring warnings.
“Winter driving is a question of common sense and all drivers should ask themselves if they really need to travel when conditions are poor. No-one should ever place themselves at risk on the road and it may be worth making alternative arrangements such as delaying travel until conditions improve or using public transport.”
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