Snow gates shut as storm strikes Upper Deeside

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Schools were closed and the Braemar snow gates shut this morning as Deesiders battened down the hatches for the arrival of a storm from the Atlantic.

The extreme weather, which has been dubbed ‘#scotstorm’ online, hit Scotland in the early hours of this morning, Friday, January 9, following amber warnings from the Met Office.

Snow gates on the A93 Braemar to Spittal of Glenshee were closed first thing due to snow and high winds, whilst pupils at Crathie School are enjoying a day off.

Aberdeenshire Council announced the closure of several schools across Deeside and Donside, including Cluny, Strathdon, and Aboyne Academy, which is partially closed to pupils.

Homes in the Banchory area are still without power on Friday as a result of the high winds.

A spokesperson for Scottish Hydro Electric said: “There are 600 customers currently without power in the rural areas surrounding Banchory - Strachan, Finzean and Auchattie. The power went off at 05:45 this morning. Engineers are on site and we are expecting further updates.

“We’d like to apologise to our customers for the inconvenience and thank them for their patience as we work to restore the power.”

There are reports of fallen trees blocking roads in the area, including the Echt to Banchory road at Dunecht and the road between Drumoak and Peterculter, whilst many school bus services were delayed or re-routed.

Scottish Fire and Rescue crews and control room staff in the North service delivery area worked hard through the night to keep people safe in the adverse conditions.

Deputy Assistant Chief Officer and Head of Service Delivery for the North, Andy Coueslant, said: “I would like to pay tribute to the dedication and hard work of our crews who have been working tirelessly throughout the night, as a result of the storms.

“When needed our crews have been providing vital life-saving assistance and helping our partners at Scottish Ambulance Service reach vulnerable people in their hour of need.”

Traffic Scotland announced the reopening of the Braemar to Spittal of Glenshee road via Twitter at around 11.30am this morning saying: “MORE #GoodNews - #A93 snowgates @ Spittal of Glenshee & Braemar now OPEN but please #DriveSafe. Remember you’re all very precious!”