News / Most snow since the early ‘80s

ALL SHETLAND schools are closed today (Wednesday) as the islands prepare for several more days of snow, forecasters saying the wintry weather will continue into next week.

By yesterday afternoon the council’s roads department had managed to make all of the islands’ roads passable, but not without incident. One snow clearing JCB fell into a roadside ditch on Yell, where it remained overnight.

Police were advising drivers to only travel if necessary, with many people deciding to take the day off work due to the conditions.

When the snow started falling on Monday afternoon the police had to deal with several incidents in Lerwick, which were only reported yesterday.

Church Road was closed briefly after a bus became stuck; a red Citroen Berlingo left the road at the Blackhill; there was a three vehicle accident on Commercial Road; and a Ford Transit van hit a wall at Sound service station.


Outside of the town a helicopter belonging to the Northern Lighthouse Board was forced to land in a back garden in Walls and a Kia Rio left the road on the main A970 at Nesting.

Sumburgh airport managed to bring flights up to schedule by yesterday afternoon after delays caused by the airport remaining closed until 9am. However oil airport Scatsta had no flights in or out, with oil workers waiting to be flown offshore after flying in from Aberdeen on Monday.

Fair Isle based weather forecaster Dave Wheeler said the cold conditions were set to continue until next week. The amount of snow falling is likely to decline, but north easterly winds on Thursday and Friday could result in drifting.

Mr Wheeler said that this was probably the most snow Shetland had experienced since the early 1980s, and February was looking to be the coldest since 1986.

Shetland Islands Council’s head of roads Ian Halcrow said that his team of gritters had succeeded in clearing the islands roads  and had been boosted by the arrival of 2,500 tonnes of road salt on board the Swan Diana yesterday lunchtime.

Mr Halcrow said that one of the council’s JCBs had fallen into a ditch on the B9081 between Ulsta and Burravoe, but no one had been hurt.

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