Homes remain without power after gales

Janet Parker took this picture of stormy conditions
Image caption The Ayrshire coast was badly hit by the winds

About 900 homes in Argyll are still without power after gale force winds battered Scotland on Wednesday.

Scottish Hydro said up to 12,000 of its customers had lost power at the height of the storm.

Winds with gusts of up to 90mph were recorded in some parts of Scotland, with disruption on roads and bridges and waves crashing over sea walls.

More than 100 engineers have been working to reconnect the remaining homes since first light.

Scottish Hydro said a number of trees had come down on the lines themselves or on access roads.

However, it is hoping to have the majority of households reconnected early on Thursday afternoon and predicted that all properties should have their supplies restored by the end of the day.

Samantha O'Connor, from Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution, said: "We would like to thank customers for their patience whilst our engineers carry out essential repairs to our network.

"Excellent progress was made throughout yesterday and most customers were back on this supply last night."

About 3,000 customers had been without power at 23:00 on Wednesday, mainly in the Argyll and west region.

Scottish Power also said about 400 homes in Largs, Lanarkshire and Dumfries had no power on Wednesday evening.

Network Rail Scotland said it had managed to keep lines running well despite appalling weather conditions.

Image caption Storm waves broke over the pier at Ayr Harbour

There were restrictions on the vehicles which could use the Forth, Tay, Skye and Erskine Bridges on Wednesday.

Edinburgh Castle was closed to visitors and the ice rink, funfair and big wheel were shut in Glasgow's George Square.

Meanwhile, Motherwell's SPL game against Dunfermline was postponed for safety reasons after Fir Park stadium suffered structural damage.

There was also concern for the Celtic-Rangers Old Firm derby after a sign came loose in high winds, but the game went ahead.

The Met Office had issued an amber warning for high winds across the country and gusts were recorded at 87mph on the Tay Bridge, 74mph in Glasgow, 71mph on Tiree, 67mph in Oban and 53mph in Edinburgh.

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