Lo­cals rally to help snow­bound mo­torists

Strathearn Herald - - MEMORY LANE -

Fam­i­lies in Auchter­arder and Black­ford opened their homes to ca­su­al­ties of the worst weather Scot­land has seen in years.

Auchter­arder High School, Ay­toun Hall and Black­ford Pri­mary School be­came emer­gency cen­tres after dozens of mo­torists found them­selves trapped in huge snow drifts and bl­iz­zards on the A9.

Some drivers spent up to 12 hours in their ve­hi­cles, while po­lice and search and res­cue teams checked each car to find out if they were oc­cu­pied and then took the stricken mo­torists and pas­sen­gers to one of the emer­gency cen­tres.

Other drivers chose to stay with their ve­hi­cles - for some a two-day wait in freez­ing tem­per­a­tures in the hope the traf­fic would start mov­ing again.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the po­lice, fire and Tay­side Re­gion’s so­cial work de­part­ments, the 51st (Perth) Ter­ri­to­rial Army and the coun­cil drew up plans to get food and pro­vi­sions through to the towns as food be­gan to run out as over 300 peo­ple swelled the com­mu­ni­ties.

There was praise for lo­cals who pulled to­gether to make life eas­ier for those stranded. John An­gus, as­sis­tant chief ex­ec­u­tive of Perth and Kin­ross said: “Through lo­cal ef­forts, all women and chil­dren were bil­leted out into lo­cal homes while the men re­mained in the halls.

“The lo­cal peo­ple even set up TVs in the halls and lo­cal shops opened all hours.”

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