Thousands of homes in the north of Scotland have had their power restored after Storm Otto swept through the night.
The Met Office said that winds as high as 80mph were recorded across parts of northern Scotland, with winds of around 60-75mph expected everywhere else.
A yellow warning is in place for Friday, from 3am to 3pm for almost all Scotland and another from 5am to 2pm for the Borders and north east England.
Energy company SSEN said that as of 4.30pm on Friday afternoon electricity supplies have been successfully restored to over 27,000 properties, with around 16,000 properties currently off supply.
The areas that continue to be impacted are mainly concentrated in Aberdeenshire, including parts of Hatton, Huntly, Insch, Maud, Mintlaw, Banchory and surrounding areas, rural Moray and pockets of customers across the Highlands.
Mobile food vans are being deployed to the main areas still off supply, with locations coordinated with local resilience partners.
Locations and timings will be updated on SSEN’s website and social media channels, with provisions currently being established in the following locations and expected to be serving food from around 5pm:
- Cruden Bay (Main Street Bay)
- Huntly (Car Park at Market Muir)
- Aberchirder (Car Park at the Square)
- Hatton (Car Park beside the Village Hall)
- Daviot Village (Outside the Village Hall)
- Craigievar School (Car Park in the School)
- Insch (Outside the Church)
- Mintlaw (Macbi Community Hub Car Park)
- Maud (Market Street outside the Social Club)
Any customer who has been off supply for longer than 12 hours is also entitled to claim up to £30 for food, per day. Customers are asked to keep copies of receipts for any claims.
The network has a significant number of faults on its high voltage network as a result of fallen trees, branches and windblown debris, SSEN said.
The storm, first to be named this winter, has been labelled Otto by the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI).
High winds are expected to cause travel disruption and possible damage to buildings in places, and the Met Office warned the drivers of high-sided vehicles to be careful.
Mark Rough, operations director at SSEN Distribution, said: “We continue to make good progress restoring power to those homes impacted by Storm Otto and we would like to thank our customers for their ongoing patience and understanding as our teams do everything they can to reconnect supplies as soon as possible.
“Whilst we expect to make significant progress restoring those still off supply throughout the remainder of today and into the evening, due to the widespread and extensive damage caused to our network, alongside ongoing challenges accessing faults due to fallen trees and road closures, some customers will remain off supply for over 48 hours, particularly those in rural locations.
“We continue to work closely with our resilience partners to support our customers as required, particularly those on our Priority Services Register, and are now ramping up our welfare provisions, including deploying food vans being to the main areas still affected.
“We would like to apologise to all those affected by the impact of Storm Otto and I’d like to reassure our customers we’re doing everything we can to restore power as quickly as possible. I’d encourage anyone who may need additional support to contact our dedicated teams on the power cut helpline, 105.”
The next update will be provided at 10pm this evening.
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It said there is also a danger of large waves on the North Sea coast “as well as a chance of some damage to buildings and infrastructure”.
The detailed warning for Scotland explains that there could be “injuries and danger to life from flying debris” and “some damage to building, such as tiles blown from roofs”.
The roof of one Angus school was blown off by the winds, with Angus Council tweeting: “All schools are closed today and Monday for the mid-term break and we’ll update Burnside Primary School families after we’ve assessed the impact of Storm Otto.”
ScotRail implemented an emergency timetable, alongside speed restrictions for many areas across the country as a result of wet and windy weather.
It said on Twitter: “For the latest service information, please refer to our app or Journey Check, it has the same info that we do.
“Services across much of the country are likely to be delayed and may have to be cancelled/revised.”
TransPennine Express warned customers to check their route before travelling, adding that trains between Berwick-upon-Tweed and Edinburgh will move at reduced speeds in response to the weather.
Police Scotland warned motorists that “extra care” should be taken amid the warning period, “particularly drivers of high-sided vehicles and those using exposed routes”.
It added: “Some roads and bridges could close and motorists should be aware of flying debris or obstructions.”
Met Office chief meteorologist Andy Page said: “Storm Otto will bring high winds and rain to the UK, with some northern parts of Scotland and the north-east of England likely to get the strongest gusts of wind, possibly in excess of 75mph. Warnings have been issued and could be updated as Storm Otto develops.
“There’s a chance of travel disruption and high-sided vehicles could be particularly prone to disrupted plans in this set-up.
“There’s associated rain with Storm Otto, with 40-50mm of rain likely to fall over parts of western Scotland.”
Denmark is expected to bear the brunt of the storm on Friday afternoon, leading the Danes to name the system, which has now been adopted by the Met Office in line with the international storm-naming arrangements.
Otto is the first named storm to directly impact the UK this storm-naming season, which began in September.
The first storm named by the Met Office, or the Irish and Dutch weather services this season will still be Storm Antoni, in accordance with the 2022/23 storm name list.