Belfast Telegraph

Firms braced for Katia's arrival

Power companies, train operators and other organisations are preparing for the storms that are expected to batter Scotland from Monday.

A meeting of the Scottish Government Resilience Room heard how preparations were being made as the remnants of Hurricane Katia race towards British shores.

Scotland, Northern Ireland and parts of northern England could see trees brought down with gusts of up to 80mph expected to pummel the region on Monday, forecasters said.

The remains of Hurricane Katia will move eastwards across northern Scotland during Monday, bringing a spell of "very windy weather" to the UK and also heavy rain to western Scotland, according to the Met Office website.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: "A great deal of work is already well under way to ensure Scotland is prepared for any potential disruption. This afternoon I've convened a meeting of the Scottish Government's Resilience Room, where I've been updated on the steps being taken by utilities, transport providers, police and others to make sure Scotland keeps moving.

"Transport Scotland's Multi Agency Response Team has been activated and will be up and running before rush-hour tomorrow morning. Extra power and transport staff are being moved in to areas likely to be affected, and utility companies are contacting their priority customers.

"Some strong winds and heavy rain are forecast for Monday and Tuesday, and forecasts suggest travel conditions are likely to be difficult. Robust contingency arrangements are in place so people should not panic but we should be prepared. For example, there is likely to be some disruption to roads, rail and ferry services, so travellers are advised to allow more time for journeys."

He continued: "The high winds and heavy rain are expected to peak on Monday afternoon and evening, so commuters are advised that if they can leave work earlier that would be a very sensible step to help avoid rush-hour delays. We are all working hard to keep Scotland moving and I urge everyone to allow extra time for travel, avoid unnecessary risks and keep checking websites and local radio for real-time information."

A spokeswoman for train operator ScotRail said: "ScotRail advises customers to check its website before travel. We are monitoring the situation and, as a precaution, have arranged to have extra staff in place for start of service on Monday.

"In addition, contingency plans are in place for the introduction of temporary timetables, where appropriate, following the Met Office advising that there is the potential for 60-70 mph gusts of wind and a risk of disruption to transport due to the possibility of damage to trees and structures."

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