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Snow and ice set for north-east in second day of wild winter weather

A gritter on the A93 near Glenshee
A gritter on the A93 near Glenshee

More winter weather will affect the north-east today after gale-force winds left thousands without power and caused travel chaos.

Roads across Aberdeenshire were littered with fallen trees as hurricane-like gusts of up to 72mph brought parts of the region to a standstill yesterday.

A low pressure system from the west caused widespread power cuts that affected almost 5,000 Aberdeenshire properties, including nine schools.

Today, temperatures in the north-east are not expected to go above freezing, with more than 3ins of snow expected – including on lower land.

The freezing temperatures mean that Aberdeen may also experience lying snow, with ice expected to cause problems on the roads in the early morning.

A Met Office yellow “be aware” warning for snow and ice is in place for the north-east today and will remain until Sunday at 12pm.

Nicola Maxey, Met Office spokeswoman said: “We’re looking at heavy snows which are going to fall to lower levels and accumulations of 2cm-4cm (0.8ins – 1.5ins) is likely, and accumulations of 8cm (3.1ins) and above on heavy ground.

“We have also got the added complication of ice on Saturday morning which could make driving conditions difficult. It will be quite breezy, there will be quite gusty winds combined with that snow.

“You’re looking at gusts of up to 40mph on Saturday and perhaps high-30s on Sunday. On Saturday you’re getting colder, temperatures are struggling to get up above freezing. You’re looking at 1C and 2C even down to sea level.

“Then on Sunday again overnight it is very cold temperatures.”

The highest wind speed recorded in the north-east yesterday was 72mph in Aboyne, while the highest gust in Aberdeen was 60mph.

A total of 4,677 properties in Aberdeenshire – 2,250 of them in the Buchan area – were left without power due to the windy weather.

Last night, 1,500 properties in the north-east were still without power.

However all Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) customers were expected to electricity restored this morning.

Last night an SSE spokeswoman said: “In Aberdeenshire we are fairly confident that through the course of the evening we will get the majority restored.”

Police also warned motorists to be wary on “all routes” due to fallen trees and branches.

Strong winds and snow on the A93 Braemar to Blairgowrie closed the road at the Spittal of Glenshee yesterday morning.

The B966 Fettercairn to Edzell road was closed at Cairnton of Balbegno for much of the day due to flooding, while the B9022 Portsoy to Huntly road was blocked by a fallen tree just before 7am on Friday morning.

The A92 Stonehaven to Dundee road was also affected by fallen trees.

Barthol Chapel, Cluny, Durris, Logie Coldstone, Lumphanan and Ordiquhill schools were all closed due to power cuts.

Crathie School was also closed due to the adverse weather in west Aberdeenshire, as was Strathdon School, which also affected by a power cut.

Meanwhile, a cabin in the Cairngorms built for use as a TV studio for a BBC programme on winter wildlife was destroyed by 96mph winds.

Property manager David Frew said the Mar Lodge Estate structure had been “cut in half” by “ferocious” wind.

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