Winter storm wreaks havoc

DISRUPTION: A fallen tree between Banchory and Drumoak
DISRUPTION: A fallen tree between Banchory and Drumoak

Severe gales battered Deeside last week, which caused disruption on the roads and to services as well as causing property damage.

The weather brought some treacherous conditions for motorists commuting to work, and saw roads and schools closed across Deeside.

By rush hour there were 15 reported incidents of trees blocking roads across Aberdeenshire.

As the temperature dropped throughout the day, flurries of snow started to cause further disruption, closing many roads.

Weather conditions on the B976 (Crathie to Gairnshiel road) prompted Police Scotland to issue a warning to motorists.

A spokesperson said: “Police Scotland would like to advise motorists of snow affecting the B976 Crathie to Gairnshiel road. The road is currently passable with care but conditions could deteriorate.”

Schools fell victim to the storm as 19 were closed around Aberdeenshire.

Nearer the coast, flooding caused havoc later in the day as the River Dee burst its banks, which saw Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) issue a warning to avoid driving through flooded areas.

Area manager of the SFRS, Andy Coueslant, appealed to drivers to look out for flood- affected roads and not to enter the water in their vehicles.

He said: “We have had a number of incidents in the last few hours where drivers and passengers have become trapped in their cars after entering the water.”

“No matter how shallow it looks ,or how capable they may think there vehicle is, there can be unseen hazards below the surface and even a few inches of fast moving water can knock someone off their feet.”

In the Aboyne area, the SFRS were called just before 7am on Thursday after a tree had fallen onto a house.

No one was injured and a tree surgeon was called in to get the situation under control.

Throughout the rest of Scotland, winds of 142 mph were recorded.

Lorries were overturned and ScotRail suspended all services, with trains not resuming till late afternoon.

Road policing at Police Scotland said almost every part of the road network had been affected by some sort of incident.

Many homes were also left without power.

Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) restored power to around 78,500 customers.

They also continued working into the night lastFriday (December 6) to reconnect the remaining 1500 customers.

A spokesperson said that SHEPD continued to provide hot food through mobile catering units to a number of affectedareas, including Lumphanan.

Mobile generators were provided to connect care homes and other priority locations.