Security was even tighter than usual at Fort George today as the gates had to be closed amidst high winds that continued to cause disruption to roads, ferry services and schools in the north.
Gusts of up to 45mph battered the 250-year-old fort, near Ardersier, leaving officials no choice but to close the popular Moray Firth attraction on the grounds of public safety.
A Historic Environment Scotland spokesman said decisions had been taken to close for the day due to “strong winds”, which were said to be enough to lift the unwary off their feet.
Met Office forecasters are warning of similar conditions tomorrow, with gusts of around 35-45mph inland and 50-55mph along the coast.
And it is likely to stay wet and windy into the weekend.
Motorists, and those looking to travel by ferry in particular, once again bore the brunt of the wintry conditions, with the Kessock Bridge closed to high-sided vehicles.
Several Calmac ferry sailings were subject to disruption or cancellation due to the adverse conditions.
Crossings between Fionnphort and Iona Oban and Colonsay were also off – as were several scheduled departures from Oban to both Craignure and Castlebay.
Meanwhile, Northlink ferry sailings from Scrabster to Stromness were brought to a standstill and crossings between Aberdeen and Kirkwall experienced delays of up to 2-3 hours.
Highland MSP Gail Ross said she had written to Highland Council urging it to make swift repairs to roads damaged by the storm – and seek Scottish Government assistance if necessary.
She said damage “could significantly impact lives” if repairs and improvements were “not made soon”.
In the Western Isles – badly hit by Storm Brendan on Monday and Tuesday – the weather was considerably calmer.
The only causeway affected was the Braighe in Lewis, where a convoy system was in operation.
Coastguard teams were also out dealing with significant amounts of flotsam and jetsam brought ashore, including buoys from fish farms.
On the Uists, meanwhile, local archaeology group members have been asked by the Scape Trust to check on coastal sites “when it is safe to venture out”.
The trust is looking for information on damage that may have been caused by the storm and has also suggested new archaeological remains may have come to light.