STORM CHAOS AS HEC­TOR SWEEPS IN TO THE NORTH WITH A BANG

De­bris strikes tourists as fer­ries and rail travel hit

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - FRONT PAGE - BY CHRIS MACLENNAN

Two Span­ish tourists were struck by fall­ing de­bris in In­ver­ness city cen­tre as Storm Hec­tor swept across the north with a bang yes­ter­day.

Emer­gency ser­vices at­tended the in­ci­dent on Church Street around 12:30pm yes­ter­day af­ter de­bris had fallen above the Munro and No­ble so­lic­i­tors of­fice.

Ac­cess to traf­fic was re­stricted as High­land Coun­cil’s build­ing stan­dards team con­ducted an in­ves­ti­ga­tion and made the build­ing safe.

Nick MacRae, sergeant of the city cen­tre policing team, said: “A roof hatch has lifted off and struck two tourists. They were checked over by am­bu­lance per­son­nel where it was dis­cov­ered there were no ma­jor in­juries, and they were found to be safe and well.”

Else­where, gusts ex- ceed­ing 60mph were ex­pe­ri­enced, with Kirk­wall in Orkney clock­ing gusts of 62mph, as Storm Hec­tor caused chaos to travel ar­range­ments.

Ferry and rail ser­vices faced se­vere dis­rup­tion as CalMac can­celled the Ard­more-Eriskay, Oban - Castle­bay and Mal­laigLochbois­dale routes.

Sco­tRail tweeted: “Our Glas­gow Queen St-Oban ser­vices are cur­rently be­ing dis­rupted by a tree block­ing the line at Dal­mally. Staff are en route to move this tree as quickly as they can.”

Stornoway Coast­guard re­ported two yachts had bro­ken free from their moor­ings on Skye dur­ing a spout of “un­usual” weather for this time of year. Skye also ex­pe­ri­enced the high­est vol­ume of down­pour with 130ml of rain recorded.

Winds con­tin­ued through yes­ter­day, eas­ing up in the af­ter­noon as the weather moved east, with oc­ca­sional rain ex­pe­ri­enced later in the day. A spokes­woman for the Met Of­fice said to­day is ex­pected to bring po­ten­tial gales over Shet­land, with the rest of the north ex­pected to be breezy as the day pro­gresses with dry and sunny spells over­shad­owed by the odd shower.

The morn­ing will be­gin largely dry with some light show­ers ex­pected in the af­ter­noon. Heav­ier down­pours could be present in the north of Scot­land late into the day.

She added: “Satur­day is ex­pected to be a calmer day as wind grad­u­ally eases. Heavy rain ex­pe­ri­enced from the west will cross the coun­try and pull to­wards the north-east with po­ten­tial risk of hail and thun­der through­out the day, how­ever, largely brighter and drier con­di­tions will be present in the west.”

Sun­day is ex­pected to be the best day of the week with the Met Of­fice re­port­ing less risk of show­ers, with the day look­ing fully dry and a lot brighter.

DAN­GER: In­ver­ness city cen­tre man­ager David Haas, talks to a build­ing of­fi­cer in Church Street af­ter de­bris, below, fell from a roof and hit two tourists in High Street, bring­ing the emer­gency ser­vices to the scene

A tree top­pled on to this car in Aberdeen overnight

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