Feel­ing the chill af­ter snow­fall

Bliz­zards: Snow­fall brings mis­ery for driv­ers and forces schools to close

The Press and Journal (Highlands & Islands) - - Front Page - BY IAIN RA­M­AGE

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

Pho­to­graph: Sandy McCook

A car on the Struie road be­tween Ar­dross and Ardgay in Suther­land.

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