North Sea Flights Disrupted as Hurricane Force Winds Halt Travel

North Sea Flights Disrupted as Hurricane Force Winds Halt Travel

North Sea Flights Disrupted as Hurricane Force Winds Halt Travel

Hurricane force winds of 144mph have hit Scotland as Storm Gertrude disrupts air, road, rail and ferry travel across the country.

The Scottish coast was being hit by the biggest waves anywhere in the world on Friday morning and the Met Office upgraded its warning to red for Shetland.

Helicopter flights out of Aberdeen International Airport to the North Sea have been cancelled due to the ongoing storm, flights to Alywyn North, Brent Bravo, Beryl A to name a few have all been disrupted until the storm subsides.

Statoil platform in the North Sea have also been evacuateddue to the severity of the current storm.

Schools across the country have been closed and snow and ice are forecast in parts of Scotland.

STV weatherman Sean Batty said: "A massive gust of 144mph [has been] recorded on the Cairngorm summit. Hurricane force winds with temp of -1C, giving wind chill of -14C."

The Forth, Tay and Kessock bridges were closed on Friday morning and the A82 was shut after a landslip at Letterfinlay.

Most CalMac and Northlink ferry sailings have been delayed or cancelled and the A9, A7, M80, A86 and Corstorphine Road in Edinburgh are blocked by fallen trees. Broomielaw road in Glasgow has been shut because of an unsafe building.

Around 8500 homes were hit by power cuts on Friday morning, with Aberdeenshire, the Western Isles, Skye, Perthshire and Oban worst hit.

No trains are expected to run between Inverness and Kyle, Thurso and Wick, Perth and Inverness, Glasgow and Fort William, Oban and Mallaig, Dumbarton and Helensburgh, or Kilmarnock and Stranraer until the afternoon.

ScotRail Alliance managing director Phil Verster said: "We will be withdrawing some services until the worst of the storm has passed.

"The safety of our passengers and workforce is our top priority and we cannot run services on these lines until our engineers have thoroughly inspected the network for any damage."

Gusts of 91mph on South Uist, 87mph in Inverbervie and 84mph in Machrihanish have been recorded. Winds are expected to reach 100mph on Shetland later on Friday.

Part of the roof was blown of a block of flats in Finnieston, Glasgow, and landed on parked cars.

There are wide reports of fallen trees disrupting routes around the country, including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and across the Highlands.

The A8 between Murrayfield and Haymarket in Edinburgh has been closed, and part of a wall has blown off Oxgangs Primary in the south-west of the Capital. Liberton High School has also been closed due to storm damage.

Scaffolding at the Persimmon Homes housing development at Woodilee, Lenzie, has collapsed and cladding is reported to have blown off the Apex Hotel in Dundee.

Most scheduled flights at Edinburgh Airport are running on schedule, however travellers are advised to check before going to the terminal.

The Met Office has issued a yellow "be prepared" warning for heavy rain covering the whole of the country and amber "be aware" wind alerts for the islands, west and east coasts, borders and central Scotland.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has warned flooding is likely across western and northern Scotland.

A Met Office forecaster reported: "West to south-westerly gales are expected to develop widely across Scotland, Northern Ireland and parts of northern England early on Friday.

"Winds are expected to widely gust 60 to 70mph, possibly up to 80mph along exposed coasts and over hills.

"Storm force winds are expected to develop across the northern isles during Friday. These south-westerly winds are expected to bring frequent gusts of 70 to 80mph with occasional gusts of 90mph. Additionally, as a result of these winds, very large waves will develop and affect western coasts.

"Be prepared for the likelihood of difficult driving conditions and disruption to travel, such as cancellation to ferry services and bridge closures.

"Some structural damage is also possible, as well as disruption to power supplies. Heavy rain and surface water will be additional hazards in places. Winds will moderate from the west later on Friday morning."


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