High winds cause power cuts in south west Scotland

Roofing blown off
Image caption Part of the roof of a hotel in Bath Street was blown off

About 1,000 properties in south west Scotland were without power on Thursday after high winds battered the country.

Scottish Power said properties in Stewartry and Wigtown were mostly affected.

Engineers restored supplies to 1,000 customers on Thursday evening but strong gusts made working at height difficult and in some cases impossible.

Elsewhere, two roads were closed in Glasgow city centre after roofing from a hotel was blown off.

The roofing came from Marks Hotel in Bath Street.

Hope Street was closed between West Regent Street and Sauchiehall Street, while Bath Street was closed between Renfield Street and West Campbell Street.

In Ibrox, cars for sale at a garage in Broomloan Road were damaged when a wall was blown over, landing on top of them.

In Edinburgh, Rose Street, behind Jenners, was closed for a time because of falling roof tiles.

Winds of more than 70mph were recorded in parts of Scotland.

Image copyright Grant Cranston
Image caption Vehicles were stranded on the A9 north of Pitlochry
Image caption A lorry jackknifed on the A9 near Pitlochry

About 500 Scottish Power customers in the Dumfries and Galloway area were affected by power cuts earlier, with many back on before midday but a spokesman said worsening weather had since affected more homes.

Snow has also been causing problems across the country.

Dozens of drivers were forced to spend Wednesday night on the A9, after becoming stranded north of Pitlochry, due to drifting snow six inches deep in parts, and a later accident.

They were finally allowed to carry on with their journeys at lunchtime on Thursday.

Heavy overnight rain resulted in the River Nith bursting its banks on the Whitesands in Dumfries.

There has also been sporadic flooding across parts of central Scotland, affecting properties in Auchterarder, in Perthshire, with some householders receiving sandbags overnight.

Image caption Flooding on the Whitesands in Dumfries after the River Nith burst its banks

A small number of houses in the Balfron and Kippen area of Stirlingshire were affected by flood water.

In Perthshire, a train was hit by a landslip at Dunning on Wednesday night.

About 30 passengers, including a baby, were helped from the Aberdeen to Glasgow train at 23:30 on Wednesday and put onto another service. No-one was hurt.

A number of rail routes cancelled on Wednesday have now reopened, including the Perth to Inverness line.

The West Highland, Inverness/Kyle and Helensburgh/Dumbarton services are also running again.

And trains in and out of Glasgow Central - Largs/Ardrossan are now running, with a replacement bus between Kilwinning and Ayr.

The Tay Rail Bridge and the Tay Road Bridge were closed for a number of hours but have both since reopened.

There were also cancellations and delays to ferry services.

Image copyright Scotrail
Image caption A train stranded at Rannoch on the West Highland line, which was closed
Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption The wind brought overhead lines down on the rail network
Image copyright Steve higgins
Image caption High winds forced the cancellation of trains going through Saltcoats in Ayrshire
Image copyright Martin Anderson
Image caption Special trains have been clearing lines of snow across the country

Stein Connolly, operator manager for Traffic Scotland, said there had been "challenging conditions" on the A9 overnight.

However, he said the picture was now "more positive".

Mr Connolly added: "Our advice is plan your journey and make sure your route is available for your journey."

Those stranded on the A9 included driver Jamie Duncan and his friend Grant Cranston, who spent the night parked in a lay-by just outside Blair Atholl after getting stuck at 21:30.

Jamie had been trying to get back to Inverness to celebrate his 20th birthday.

Speaking before the road reopened, he told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "I haven't had any food all night. I've got water from my windscreen washer but we haven't used that.

"We've got nothing but our jackets, so we turn the car on every so often to heat up a little bit and keep us warm."

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Media captionHuge waves pounded the train line in Saltcoats on the Ayrshire coast

ScotRail said there were no trains on the Highland mainline, which includes trains from Inverness to Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Road conditions meant replacement transport was unavailable.

Network Rail spokesman Nick King said: "We have engineers out working to clear snow drifts, working to restore signalling systems and working to bring that line back into full operation.

"There are still some train services able to run on it, but at the moment there is no ScotRail service on it."

He added: "Elsewhere on the network, we should be seeing a fairly normal commuter service, and weather conditions in the central belt and in the east are relatively normal for this time of year."

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Media captionThere was flooding in Dumfries after the River Nith burst its banks

Hundreds of homes in England and Wales were also left without power on Wednesday night.

About 700 homes were affected in Wales when high winds brought down power cables.

Storms also left about 200 homes on the Surrey/Hampshire border without electricity.

Gusts of 101mph were recorded in Great Dunsell, Cumbria, at 01:00.

Other exposed areas also recorded speeds in excess of 70mph.

The bad weather shut eight schools in the Highland Council area, with the closures affecting 1,033 children.

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