TRANSPORT companies serving the Northern Isles are preparing for expected travel disruption on Thursday and Friday as severe northerly gales – dubbed Storm Caroline - with gusts of up to 90mph are expected to be followed by snow and ice over the weekend.
The Met office has upgraded its weather warning for Thursday from yellow (be aware) to amber (be prepared).
In addition, yellow alerts are in place for Friday and Saturday: See: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings#?date=2017-12-07
Loganair is again offering customers to change flights lights for free in an attempt to reduce the numbers of people flying on the days likely to be affected by disruptions. More information is available here.
Flybe said is adding a travel advice section to its website to "give people a number of options over this travel period should their travel be disrupted due to adverse weather conditions".
Ferry operator Serco NorthLink said it was highly likely that all its services between Shetland and Aberdeen would be cancelled on Thursday night. An update is to follow on Thursday morning. More information is available here.
Shetland islands Council said that any impact on council run services would be published on this page: https://www.shetland.gov.uk/adverseweather/default.asp
Meanwhile, a temporary waiting area for people attending the A&E and outpatients department of the Gilbert Bain Hospital after some of the heavy rain of recent days reached into the main hospital corridor.
A spokeswoman said NHS Shetland's estates team was working on identifying where the water is entering the building and undertaking remedial repairs.
"All patient services and clinics are running as usual and contingency plans are in place if the water damage becomes more extensive," she said.
Platform partially evacuated
Finally, 69 workers are being taken off the Ninian Southern oil platform east of Shetland due to concerns over the effect impending bad weather could have on its structure.
The down-manning of the CNR International platform – which has a total of 159 people on board – comes amid concerns over how the metal structure of the installation will cope with anticipated waves.
In a statement, the company said: "CNR International has been carrying out remedial work on the platform's jacket structure and assurance activities are ongoing to confirm their effectiveness.
"There are storm conditions forecast for the coming weekend, therefore, in order to ensure the safety of all personnel on board, the company has taken the decision to partially down-man Ninian Southern as a precaution."
A full hour-by-hour weather forecast can be found at http://www.shetnews.co.uk/weather/