Scotland

Warning not to travel as Storm Henry takes grip in Scotland

lorry blown over on Cromarty Bridge
Image caption The Cromarty Bridge was closed to high sided vehicles after a lorry was blown over in high winds

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

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

Lorries have been blown over, trees uprooted and buildings damaged.

The Tay Road Bridge has closed to all traffic after a gust of 91mph was recorded.

The Forth Road Bridge was also closed earlier on Monday after winds reached 84mph. It later reopened to cars only but officials warned it was likely to be shut again later.

Travel latest

A Met Office amber "be prepared" alert for high winds covering most of the country is in force until Tuesday morning.

Forecasters said winds of 70-80mph were expected widely, with 90mph gusts possible in exposed areas, especially in the west.

Restrictions have been put in place on bridges across Scotland and a number of train services have been suspended.

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Media captionBBC Weather's Alex Deakin explains what to expect from Storm Henry

All schools in the Western Isles were closed on Monday. A spokesman warned that the high winds and large waves could lead to over-topping and flooding of coastal roads.

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Media captionStorm Henry swept in across Glasgow on Tuesday afternoon

Scottish Transport Minister Derek Mackay said the Scottish government Resilience Room (SGoRR) has been activated and it was closely monitoring events.

"Travellers are advised to take care in difficult conditions and allow extra time for their journeys," he said.

"High winds can also cause disruption to utilities like power and telecoms and key responder organisations across Scotland, including councils, utilities and blue light services, are well used to dealing with severe weather events such as these forecast," he added.

"We have ensured that they have put in place the necessary planning and response arrangements to deal with any impacts as quickly and effectively as possible, nevertheless, people should try to ensure that they are prepared, including checking on the elderly and vulnerable."

Image copyright Jim Henderson
Image caption Weather Watcher Jim Henderson photographed the beginnings of Storm Henry at Laide in Wester Ross
Image caption Ferry sailings have been disrupted by Storm Henry
Image caption Part of a roof was blown off a block of flats in Broughty Ferry

A total of 28 flood warnings had been issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) late on Monday.

Pascal Lardet, Sepa's hydrology duty manager said localised flooding was expected to affect low-lying land, roads and isolated properties.

In other updates:

  • All schools in the Western Isles have closed - they are expected to reopen on Tuesday
  • About 30 schools and nurseries in the Highlands have been closed or partially shut, affecting more than 2,200 pupils
  • Skye's Portree lifeboat has been launched to helped get SSE engineers to Raasay following a power outage on the island
  • In Ross-shire, the Cromarty Bridge has been closed to all vehicles except cars after a lorry was blown over
  • The Tay Road Bridge is open only to cars and single-decker buses
  • Only cars are being allowed to use the A82 between Glencoe and Rannoch Moor, after a van and two HGVs went off the road in strong winds
  • A fallen tree has forced the closure of the A82 between the Kilbowie roundabout and the Erskine bridge slip road. West Dunbartonshire Council said it may be closed for at least 18 hours due to the high winds.
  • Public transport on the Western Isles cancelled after 15:00
  • Swell charts produced by surfers' website magicseaweed.com have forecast waves rising to 48ft (14m) or more during Monday
  • Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne said 25 out of its 26 routes had been disrupted by the weather
  • Northlink Ferries has cancelled sailings between Aberdeen and Shetland on Monday evening
  • Cairngorm Mountain Ski Centre has recorded gusts of 120mph at the top of Cairn Gorm; it reached 144mph during Storm Gertrude
Image copyright Magicseaweed
Image caption Swells of 48ft (14m) or more have been forecast for Monday and shown in black in charts for midday, 21:00 and midnight
Image copyright @ForthRoadBridge
Image caption Winds of 80mph and 84mph were recorded on the Forth Road Bridge on Monday afternoon

What is happening elsewhere?

Meanwhile in England, the Humber Bridge was closed to high-sided vehicles and caravans and a speed limit was imposed after a lorry blew over in 49mph winds.

Humberside Police tweeted a photograph of the overturned lorry, which appeared to have come to rest close to the edge of the bridge.

In Grimsby, residents have been evacuated from the landmark Victoria Mills building amid concerns for the structure.

A North East Lincolnshire Council spokesman said a turret on the west of the silo building appeared to have moved.

He added: "Under advice from a structural engineer, we have been monitoring the building twice per day since December.

"People being evacuated are advised to go to the nearby Fishing Heritage Centre where we will be liaising with other services to look to find alternative places for them to stay until we can better assess the situation. As a precautionary measure, the nearby road is being temporarily closed."


Check out the latest travel news for Scotland

Image copyright PA

For the latest on the roads visit the BBC's travel news page and keep up to date with incidents and roadworks on the motorways here.

Around the country you can check for updates from:

Alternatively, for regular travel bulletins listen live to BBC Radio Scotland and follow @BBCTravelScot.

In times of severe disruption you can also follow the BBC Scotland severe weather Twitter list of key sources.

Below are a number of other traffic information sources.


Earlier on Monday, ScotRail warned passengers that some services would be disrupted.

Some routes may also be affected on Tuesday morning and commuters have been asked to check their trains are running be beginning their journeys.

Affected routes include:

  • Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh
  • The West Highland Line
  • Glasgow to Killwinning, Ardrossan Harbour and Largs
  • Helensburgh Central, Dumbarton Central to Edinburgh

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