Feeling the chill after snowfall
Blizzards: Snowfall brings misery for drivers and forces schools to close
Heavy snow and high winds caused chaos across much of the Highlands yesterday.
A spate of accidents on snowbound roads meant delays for many drivers amid claims some routes had not been treated.
And forecasters are warning of further snow, sub-zero temperatures and 70 mph winds before a thaw on Sunday.
A combination of the fierce weather, power cuts anda break in water supply led to several schools being forced to close across the region.
Two secondary, 10 primary and three nursery schools were closed, affecting 401 pupils.
It meant an extra day off for youngsters at Altnaharra, Bower, Cromarty, Crossroads, Farr, Kinlochbervie, Kinlochewe, Melvich, Reay and Tongue.
All routes in Badenoch and Strathspey had packed snow and ice.
There was also a heavy overnight snowfall in Nairnshire, Caithness and north Sutherland.
Lochaber had snow and hail as did Skye, Lochalsh and south-west Ross.
There were numerous minor accidents in which vehicles slid into ditches, but no serious injuries were reported.
In Sutherland, a council gritter broke down on the B869 Drumbeg road. Another skidded off the road at Loth near Helmsdale.
East Sutherland and Edderton councillor Deirdre Mackay said he received numerous complaints that stretches of the A9 were not gritted.
There were two accidents just south of Brora and another near the Trentham Hotel, Dornoch.
Councillor Mackay, who came across one of the accidents, said: “The road was treacherous. It seems it had not been gritted.”
A spokeswoman for trunk route maintenance firm Bear Scotland said: “Our teams worked round the clock in difficult conditions to treat routes across the north including the A9 near Dornoch.
“Our spreaders carried out salt treatments at 5pm on Wednesday and 4am this (Thursday) morning, as well as continuously monitoring the area, treatingand clearing snow as required in between the planned treatments and throughout the day.”
Further south on the A9, a lorry jack- knifed at 7.30am at Etteridge, Newtonmore, causing delays.
Highland Council insisted streets in the Cradlehall area of Inverness were gritted despite reports to the contrary in an area that had a spate of minor collisions.
Six coastguard personnel were recruited by Orkney Council to help erect flood prevention barriers at the slipway at St Margaret’s Hope on the eve of Spring tides.
A flight due to land in AberdeenAirport last night had to be cancelled as a result of the weather.
The London City to Aberdeen service due to arrive at 9.25pm.
An airport spokesman said: “The flight was cancelled because of the weather.”
“The road was treacherous. It seems it had not been gritted”
SNOW DAY: Window cleaner Davie Parker from Carrbridge was still wearing his shorts to work yesterday
SCEINIC: The old bridge at Carrbridge in the Highlands makes for an idyllic winter scene but weather caused travel problem across the north
A jack-knifed lorry caused the A9 at Newtonmore to be partially closed
This truck slid off a single track road in Caithness
Horses feeding in the snow near Newtonmore
A car on the Struie road between Ardross and Ardgay in Sutherland.