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Car crash, power cuts, travel delays

THE WINTER weather continued to cause problems for Shetland’s travellers and emergency services over the weekend.

Fire officers had to cut free a driver from a car after two vehicles collided on the main A970 by the Fladdabister junction near Cunningsburgh on Sunday lunchtime.

The man was taken by ambulance to Lerwick’s Gilbert Bain Hospital with shoulder injuries, while the other six occupants of the two cars were allowed to go home after being checked by paramedics.

Shetland coastguard’s Lerwick coordination centre was involved in helping to transfer a kidney patient to hospital in Kirkwall as blizzard conditions created transport problems throughout Orkney.

On Unst the Baltasound volunteer rescue team spent Saturday assisting BT engineers to access the aerial at Saxa Vord which had stopped transmitting in the bad weather.

While the engineers were fixing the fault, other coastguard volunteers based themselves at the local coastguard station where they monitored VHF radio for any distress calls.

A Shetland coastguard spokeswoman said: “It was very helpful to know the local teams and to be able to speak to them directly to sort these problems out.”

Rough to very rough sea condition caused by easterly winds up to Force 7 with snow showers were causing concern for shipping traffic.

The prevailing winds delayed the departure of the NorthLink ferry Hjaltland from Aberdeen harbour on Sunday evening by two hours, with the boat not expected to arrive at Hatson pier in Kirkwall until 1.30am, though she was due in Lerwick on schedule at 7.30am on Monday morning.

The weather also caused flight delays at Sumburgh airport with flights from Aberdeen and taking off an hour behind schedule and the noon flight from Edinburgh not leaving until 4.45pm. Kirkwall airport remained closed all weekend, but Glasgow and Inverness airports were open.

Around 4,000 premises experienced a power cut for two hours between 8pm and 10pm on Saturday evening after lightning struck an overhead power line between Scava and Hoya on the Gremista to Voe cable.

Further outages were experienced in Sandwick between 2.15 and 2.30pm by around 320 customers and about the same number were without power in Mossbank from 2.10pm to 5pm on Saturday due to lightning strikes.

A spokesman for Scottish & Southern Energy said they had engineers working from 4×4 vehicles working as quickly as possible to reconnect everyone and apologised for the lack of power.

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