Severe weather update
Strategic and local multi-agency tactical meetings are continuing to take place to assess and manage the impact of the severe weather.
The storm force winds and snow have caused considerable disruption and severely hampered repairs to power networks and clearing of roads across the area. There is a forecast of ice and snow today and into Sunday, and a risk of flooding in some communities on Sunday and Monday.
At 17:00 today 29,000 customers in the North of Scotland were without power including the following areas in Highland:
Rural areas around Dingwall 3392 customers
Rural areas around Fort William 387 customers
Inverness-shire 7362 customers
Skye 3647 customers
Rural areas around Wick 3517 customers
The pressing problem in a sizeable number of communities remains the continuing lack of power. We understand that around 10,000 households are likely to remain without power tonight (Saturday), including in: Halkirk (300), Dunnet (330), Tain (198), Dornoch (411), Helmsdale and Brora (56), Golspie (90), Conon Bridge and rural Dingwall (226), Cromarty (165), Munlochy (265), Avoch (643), Allanfearn and Culloden (72), Cawdor/outskirts Nairn (179), Kingussie (351), Kirkhill (106), Lentran and Abriachan (110), Portree and Uig (810), Dunvegan and Glenelg (1100).
We are working with partners in Police and NHS Highland to identify and care for vulnerable and elderly people in communities, however we would urge people to look out for and assist their neighbours without power.
SSE are also continuing to provide catering services in: Dornoch, Conon, Fortrose (for Avoch and Munlochy at McGintys), Culloden, Kingussie, Durness, Drumnodrochit, Cannich and Halkirk. Details and live updates can be found at http://news.ssepd.co.uk/storms/north-of-scotland-wc-5-jan-14/
Information is also being tweeted regularly by SSE at: @hydroPD and we are sharing this information on our twitter and facebook pages as well as information from other agencies.
Some reception centres are being prepared, if necessary. Multi-agency Emergency Liaison Groups have met today for the most critical areas to plan for tonight and tomorrow. Thurso High School has been opened for people in Halkirk, Reay and Dunnet to come in for a warm up and hot drinks and information. SSE Catering vans are also in place in Thurso and Halkirk.
A Reception centre was set up in Mallaig today from 12 noon to offer warmth and hot food to vulnerable people identified in the community. Plans are currently being considered for reception centres in North Skye.
A total of 98 schools closed yesterday. A small number of schools have experienced structural damage. Otherwise, it is anticipated that most schools will be able to return on Monday. Details will be available on our school closures website on Monday morning from 7am.
A number of roads across the area have been affected by fallen trees and branches and staff have been working hard to clear these. The Struie is now open, as is Glenglass Rd, Evanton. Laxford Bridge still closed at Merkland.