'Do not travel': Major incident declared amid Storm Gerrit snow and flooding

Storm Gerrit has led to power cuts at some 27,000 properties with drivers stranded on miles of road.

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A major incident has been declared after drivers have been stranded on miles of roads by Storm Gerrit.

The sever weather led to power cuts at some 27,000 properties, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution said.

The A9 and other major routes in the north and east of the country are being severely affected by snowy, wet and windy conditions.

On Wednesday night, police confirmed that the A9 fully re-opened in both directions following earlier closures due to adverse weather.

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A9 at standstill amid Storm Gerrit snow and jack-knifed lorry. a9 stormgerrit snow

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A spokesperson said: “The road is passable with care, however, motorists are advised to only travel if essential and extra caution should be exercised.”

Emergency services have warned of “numerous hazards” including flooding, flying debris, downed trees and power lines.

Police advised drivers to take due care and “travel only if absolutely essential”.

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Some homes have been evacuated in Cupar due to severe flooding. flooding cupar scotland strmgerrit stv stvnews news scottishweather

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The flooded railway line at Bowling station on December 27, amid Storm Gerrit.

SSEN said as of 10.00pm on Wednesday supplies had been restored to around 25,000 properties, with more than 16,000 still cut off. The firm warned some could face 48 hours without power.

Andy Smith, SSEN Distribution operations director, said: “I know this has been a tough day for our customers, and I’d like to thank them for their patience. We’ve had every resource at our disposal deployed from first thing this morning to respond to faults on the network. The conditions we have encountered while doing so have been extremely challenging.

“In the face of the day’s adverse weather, our teams have made good progress, reconnecting almost 25,000 customers, but poor conditions, and the challenges we’ve had travelling by road to affected areas, mean it will take time to complete all repairs. Some customers in rural areas where there are multiple points of damage, may be without power until Friday.
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“We’re putting welfare provision in place in a number of the affected areas, and we’re speaking to our most vulnerable customers to offer them specific support. Anyone who may need additional help or advice should contact our dedicated teams on the power cut helpline, 105.”

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A82 Fort William Inverlochy near the Ben Nevis Hotel.

James Matheson, 37, was hoping to drive to Edinburgh but was stranded in Cupar, Fife, as flooding blocked both roads out of the town, where his parents live.

The PR consultant said: “It’s the worst flooding we’ve seen in this part of the town in my lifetime and in the 35 years my family has lived here.”

Cupar, Fife, flooded by Storm Gerrit. Credit: Bruce Russell

He said flooding is impacting two areas of the town, adding: “Thankfully [my parents’] house is okay as it’s further up the hill, we just have no access to the town and I can’t leave Cupar via car until one of the floods has subsided.”

“Alongside partner agencies we are dealing with a number of vehicles stranded on the A9 at Dalnaspidal due to severe weather conditions,” a Police Scotland spokesperson said.

Tree on a road in Inverurie.

“Drivers are asked to remain in their vehicles meantime, keep warm, and tune in to local radio or social media where further updates will be provided as soon as possible.”

BEAR Scotland, Transport Scotland’s trunk road operating company for the North West, along with Police Scotland, has deployed six ploughs and three tractors as cars and a jack-knifed lorry have been left stranded.

A spokespersons said emergency responders were facing “extremely challenging conditions” and asked people to avoid the area.

Workers try to clear the A82 road from flooding on December 27, 2023 in Dumbarton.

Ian Stewart, operating company representative for BEAR Scotland, said: “Our teams are working at pace across the country, whenever it was deemed safe, to clear the roads and keep Scotland moving. However, the Met Office Yellow warnings for wind, rain and snow remain in place and we request that people consider if they really need to travel today. If so, please check Traffic Scotland for the latest updates on your route and be prepared for disruption.”

Traffic Scotland confirmed snow ploughs and gritters are on site to attempt to make way for cars, but there remains heavy traffic on the road, as Police Scotland closed the A9 at Ballinluig due to ‘severe flooding’.

The disruption comes after several Met Office yellow warnings for the north and north-east being put in place, with storm conditions affecting travel across the country.

High winds have also been reported in the north of the country, with flooding and fallen trees also causing roads to be closed across Perth and Kinross with the A93 and A913 among the affected routes.

Scotrail said services between Aberdeen and Inverness are in danger of being affected due to high winds, while Stagecoach confirmed bus services between Aberdeen and Peterhead have been cancelled due to gusts.

The A85 at Glen Ogle was affected by heavy snowfall.

Rangers’ game with Ross County at Ibrox in the Scottish Premiership was postponed as the Dingwall side attempted to travel to Glasgow but were met with the stormy conditions.

A club statement read: “Rangers can confirm this evening’s Scottish Premiership fixture with Ross County has been postponed.

“Despite the Ibrox playing surface being in good condition and ready to host the match, adverse weather conditions on the A9 means our visitors have been unable to reach Glasgow. A new date for the fixture will be confirmed in due course.”

County posted on X: “Following consultation with Police Scotland regarding today’s weather conditions on the A9, this evening’s match against Rangers has been postponed.”

Aberdeen’s clash with Motherwell at Pittodrie was also postponed after the clubs considered fan safety while travelling despite conditions set to clear up in the area later in the evening.

A Met Office spokesman said: “Over the south of the warning area gusts are likely to reach 50-60 mph, especially along coasts and to the west of high ground, and perhaps as high as 70 mph in a few locations.

“The winds are expected to strengthen as they spread across the north of the warning area, with gusts reaching 60-70 mph widely and perhaps as much as 80 mph across Orkney and the Caithness coast.

“Winds will be particularly gusty across and to the west of high ground. Additional hazards for parts of the area include heavy rain and snowfall, covered by a separate warning.”

The A82 at Altnafeadh caused disruption for drivers.

Bear Scotland posted on X: “A9 at Drumochter still got heavy snow, traffic at standstill, A9 closed at Drumochter, resources trying to clear snow.”

A Police Scotland Highlands and Islands spokesperson said on X: “We are aware of challenging weather conditions on the A9 in the Dalwhinnie and Drumochter areas.

“We would urge people to avoid driving on that route.”

Bear also revealed that the A9 at Scrabster is closed in both directions due to a landslide.

A spokesperson said: “Our teams are on route. The road will remain closed until a safety assessment can be undertaken at first light tomorrow and when safe to do so.”

A9 at Scrabster closed in both directions.
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