Highland Council response to severe weather

The Highland Council is working with partners to keep residents of the Highlands safe during the stormy weather overnight and throughout today.

Due to severe weather resulting in loss of power the majority of Highland Council computer systems and some phone lines have been affected this morning. Service is being restored but there may be a delay in our customer responses, therefore we apologise for any inconvenience.

Some Service Points are currently closed due to loss of power including: Dingwall, Fortrose, Aviemore, Kingussie, Lairg, Kyle, Broadford, Mallaig, Fort Augustus, Gairloch, and Bonar Bridge.

One hundred and fifty three schools and nurseries are closed affecting some 11,345 pupils.  School closures can be found on the council’s website at: www.highland.gov.uk/schoolclosures. Our ability to update the school closures website was affected this morning due to loss of network access; however this has now been restored.

Information on school closures is also available on the school closures information line - phone 0800 564 2272 to get the latest pre-recorded message from the head teacher of your child's school. Have your school's PIN ready when you call.

A number of roads across the highlands are affected mainly due to fallen trees and our operators are working to ensure that Council roads are cleared. Staff have been working overnight to clear roads.

Roads currently closed are:

  • A838 near Merkland,
  • B9176 Struie Hill Road
  • B861 Inverness to Inverarnie closed (trees at Tomfat Woods),
  • B9006 Inverness to Croy closed (fallen treees at three locations,
  • A831 Drumnadrochit to Cannich closed (trees and power cables),
  • B9154 Daviot to Dalmagarry closed (trees at Moy Station),
  • Bealach na Ba (Applecross) – closed overnight for reasons of safety.

The council is urging all landowners to check for damage to their trees and to remove debris from roads or footways without undue delay.

Richard Evans, Highland Council’s Head of Roads and Transport added: “Damaged trees and vegetation can cause potential hazards to road users by obstructing the passage of vehicles and pedestrians. The Council is particularly concerned where weakened or damaged branches could subsequently fall on vehicles or pedestrians.”

Bin collections are taking place as normal today apart from the recycling service in Lochalsh. Residents should however, try to ensure that their bins, once emptied are secured and removed from the roadside.

Corran Ferry is currently running to normal service, however due to the stormy weather continuing there may be intermittent suspensions of the service over the course of today and tomorrow.

The Council and partners are aware of vulnerable residents in the Highlands; however we urge residents to look out for their elderly or vulnerable neighbours.

Engineers are currently assessing all council buildings for structural damage. Lochinver and Kinlochberview Harbour buildings have suffered some damage.

We are monitoring services affected, which may change throughout the day. Updates will be posted on the Council’s Twitter and Facebook.

To report any problems to Council services, phone the Service Centre on 01349 886606 or report online at www.highland.gov.uk/reportonline.

-ends-

9 Jan 2015
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