Belfast Telegraph

Drivers warned as Storm Henry brings 90mph gusts

Motorists have been advised against travel in parts of Scotland as Storm Henry sweeps in, bringing gusts of up to 90mph.

Traffic Scotland said only essential journeys should be attempted as roads, bridges and rail routes are battered by heavy rain and gale force winds.

Lorries have been blown over, trees uprooted and buildings damaged by the latest severe weather.

Henry is the eighth winter storm and comes days after the UK saw off Storm Gertrude, which brought gusts of more than 100mph in Shetland.

Councils and travel operators in the Highlands and Western Isles have responded to an amber "be prepared" warning from the Met Office, valid until Tuesday morning, by shutting schools and suspending train and ferry services.

Gusts of 84mph have forced the closure of the Forth Road Bridge, and travel on the A82 between Glencoe and Rannoch Moor is restricted after a van and a lorry were blown off the road.

Roads operator BEAR Scotland said motorists should be aware of likely closures on the Skye, Kessock, Dornoch and Cromarty bridges.

The Humber Bridge near Hull was also closed to high-sided vehicles and caravans and a speed limit was imposed after a lorry blew over in 49mph winds.

The Met Office said: "Gusts of 70mph-80mph are expected widely, whilst gusts of 90mph are possible in the most exposed areas, especially across the Western Isles and along the west coast.

"Be prepared for some potentially severe weather, causing transport disruption and difficult driving, some structural damage, dangerous coastal conditions and disruption to power supplies."

Warnings for wind at the lesser yellow "be aware" level are in place for the whole of the northern UK and Northern Ireland.

Scottish Hydro is working on a "red alert", with engineers on standby in the Western Isles, north-west Highlands, Skye and Argyll.

Staff have already contacted vulnerable customers to see if they will need extra assistance in the event of a power cut.

Around 30 flood warnings are in place across Scotland.

Pascal Lardet from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said: "There is a coastal flood risk for the Western Isles today, due to storm force winds generating a large surge and waves.

"Flooding impacts could include disruption to travel, particularly causeways, from spray and wave overtopping. Elsewhere tides are currently low, however minimal impact from wave overtopping and spray is possible along exposed northern and western coastlines until Tuesday.

"Localised impacts are possible throughout Monday and overnight, including areas of the Firth of Clyde."


From Belfast Telegraph