Multi-agency partners issue further advice following prevailing severe weather
10th January 2015
Multi-agency partners are continuing to monitor and respond to incidents regarding the severe weather which has affected the Highlands and Islands since Thursday evening.
Conditions have improved a little over most of the area. There is a forecast of ice and snow today and Sunday, and a risk of flooding in some communities on Sunday and Monday. Wind speeds will remain high into next week with the Met Office reporting speeds of around 70-80mph.
Power outages along with communications problems continue to be a major problem for local communities across both the Highlands and Islands. Engineers and staff from Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) and BT have been working tirelessly in conditions that continue to hamper ongoing work. Whilst many homes have had power and phone lines reconnected there remains properties and businesses across the region who are still without services.
SSE and the Red Cross have welfare teams and catering units at key locations. Reception centres are also being prepared, where required to offer warmth and hot food to vulnerable people.
Partners are also urging members of the public to help those who are vulnerable or elderly within local communities. If you are aware of anyone within your local area who requires assistance, check in with them and make sure they are safe until the current spell of bad weather passes.
Where power is unavailable one piece of advice would be to conserve mobile phone batteries by using text messaging where possible and switching phones to 2G networks. When using candles, advice from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is to make sure that they are placed on flat hard surfaces. Alternative lighting, heating or cooking facilities, should be kept away from combustible materials, such as curtains and upholstery and never left unattended.
Where phone lines or mobile networks are available, further information regarding services and facilities can be found as per the following:
Highland Council 01349 886606
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar 0845 600 2772
Orkney Islands Council 01856 873 535
Shetland Islands Council 01595 693 535
SSE Emergencies and power cuts helpline
0800 300 999 or from a mobile 0345 072 1901
BT Fault Reporting
Consumer 0800 800 151 or from mobile 0330 123 4151
Business 0800 800 154 or from mobile 0330 123 4154
Where 999 access to emergency services have been affected by BT phone line outages, police patrols have been increased to provide further visibility and access to the community.
Transport networks also remain affected with ferries and trains running fewer services. Flights have also been grounded where necessary. For up to date information the following phone numbers can be used (please note, some may not be available 24 hours of the day):
Traffic Scotland 0800 028 1414
Northlink Ferries 0845 6000 449
CalMac Ferries 0800 066 5000
ScotRail 0330 303 0112
Due to the constant changes, HIAL advise the public to contact the respective airlines for further information:
City Jet 0871 663 3777
Flybe 0871 700 2000
Loganair 0844 800 2855
Eastern Airways 08703 669989
Easyjet 0843 1045000
Travelling by road may still see delays where the high winds have deposited debris on the road and fallen trees may be in-situ. Local Authorities and Bear Scotland are working tirelessly to clear the roads.
Where there are reasons to travel by road, make sure you have enough fuel, pack provisions such as a blanket and warm clothing, water, non-perishable food and make sure that your mobile phone is fully charged. This can make all the difference if there is a disruption or delay to your journey.
Where access is available, the public are advised to listen to local radio and to visit the following websites for the most up to date information:
Met Office - http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings/
Scottish and Southern Power Distribution - https://www.ssepd.co.uk/Powertrack/
Traffic Scotland - http://trafficscotland.org/
Scotrail - http://www.scotrail.co.uk/disruption-news
Caledonian MacBrayne Ferries - http://status.calmac.info/service-status.aspx
Northlink Ferries - http://www.northlinkferries.co.uk/opsnews/