Residents in Moray and the Highlands have been urged to “redouble stay at home efforts” amid awful weather forecasts in the coming days.
Much of the region was hit by snow yesterday with warnings of more disruption to come over the weekend.
Emergency services across the Highlands have urged locals to watch forecasts and to avoid anything but essential travel before Sunday.
Gritters in Moray battled drifting snow in rural areas including Glenlivet, Tomnavoulin and Bluefolds with some sections of the A96 Keith to Huntly road also badly affected today.
Heavy #snow on higher ground in central and northern Scotland this evening and strong winds giving drifting snow and blizzard conditions at times with a significant wind chill ⚠️
— Met Office (@metoffice) February 4, 2021
Moray Council’s roads maintenance manager Mark Atherton revealed some roads had been made “impassable” by the weather.
He said: “Our focus has to be on keeping the roads clear for essential and emergency journeys.
“Road conditions can deteriorate quickly in adverse weather. Motorists can get stuck, causing obstructions for our ploughs and gritters which will hamper our efforts to keep lifeline roads open to communities and for our already busy emergency services.
“We will be hard at work monitoring the weather conditions and co-ordinating our crews to areas where there is the greatest need.”
Talks were held between Highland Council, NHS Highland, police, fire and ambulance crews to coordinate a response to the weather.
Highland Council’s 10 new gritters will be deployed alongside nearly 100 other vehicles to try and keep routes clear.
Bear Scotland also has up to 90 winter vehicles available to help cope with any disruption.
Meanwhile, Highland Council has said salt and equipment is able to be delivered to communities willing to provide a more local response.
Road policing Chief Superintendent Louise Blakelock said: “Government restrictions on only travelling if your journey is essential remains in place and so with an Amber warning for snow, please consider if your journey really is essential and whether you can delay it until the weather improves.”
Dr Tim Allison, NHS Highland’s director of public health, said: “We would also encourage people to look out for their neighbours during this time, especially older and vulnerable people in your community.
“The isolation which the pandemic has caused can be exacerbated during this spell of challenging weather and we need to pull together to support each other during these difficult times.”