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Live: weather disruption

There were five inches of snow in Burrafirth, in Unst, on Thursday morning. Thanks to reader Heather Gray for sending in this photo.

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SEVERE gales and snow battering the north of Scotland services are affecting services across Shetland. We will keep you updated throughout the day via this live feed. You can help us by sending your weather updates and pictures to news@shetnews.co.uk or 07775 564513.
Please remember to refresh this page regularly.

4.55pm: Shetland emergency planning forum is asking folk to keep an eye out for their neighbours, and take care in the wintry conditions. Their main concern are the almost 400 households left without power in Yell and Unst since early on Thursday morning. Affected are Mid Yell, Baltasound (Millburn Park, Springpark and Mill Brae) and Quoys in Unst.

A spokeswoman said: “While Scottish & Southern Energy engineers are working on the faults, the company is unable to get additional engineers to the islands before Friday morning, and some customers are unlikely to have their power restored before lunchtime.
“The care centres at Nordalea and Isleshavn are operating on generators, which are sufficiently fuelled, and everyone on Care at Home packages in Yell and Unst have already been visited by staff who’ve checked on their welfare.
“Community alarms (home links) are working on battery backup, which should last for 30 hours; if any users have any concerns about their system, they should contact either Nordalea (01595 745870) or Isleshavn (01595 745720)

4.25pm: A Loganair spokesman said this afternoon that it was impossible for the airline to safely operate in the extreme conditions experienced on Thursday. He said: “All flights in and out of Shetland have been grounded by the adverse weather conditions currently affecting the entire country.

“Our Saab 340 aircraft are built specifically to operate in challenging conditions – this is why they make up the bulk of our fleet.

“We are continually monitoring the situation and will commence our services when it is safe to do so. As always, the safety of our passengers must come first.”

4pm: The games halls in Sandwick, Scalloway and Brae will be closed on Friday evening. Meanwhile, Skerries school will be bucking the trend tomorrow and open its doors to pupils.

2.35pm: Flights in and out of Sumburgh airport continue to be delayed due to the weather. An airport spokesman said that although the airport was open it was too windy for planes to land and take off. It was also too windy to de-ice planes.
So far the morning flights to and from Aberdeen have been cancelled as has the 11.30am plane from Kirkwall. The early morning flights to Edinburgh and Kirkwall are still delayed.

BREAKING 1.20pm: Schools, Shetland Ciollege and all youth clubs will be closed on Friday (6 December)! Also Whalsay closed at 1.15pm, Hamnavoe at 1.30pm and Happyhansel and Sandness at 2pm.

1pm: Efforts are under way by Scottish and Southern Energy to get engineers to Yell and Unst where 360 customers are without power. Ferry services to these isles are still suspended.

12.30pm: Road surface temeratures across Shetland are now well below zero and quite a number of roads are affected by ice and snow: http://www.shetland.gov.uk/icecast/

Schools round-up:
A number of schools are closing early today. These are: Aith junior high (2pm), Brae High (2pm), Whalsay junior high (1.15pm), and the primary schools at Cunningsburgh (2pm), Cullivoe (12.30pm), Hamnavoe (1.30pm), Happyhansel (2pm), Mossbank (12.50pm), Olnafirth (12.50pm), Sandness (2pm), Skeld (1pm), Tingwall (1pm), Urafirth (2pm), and Whiteness (1.15pm).
Closed are the junior high schools in Mid Yell and Baltasound as well as the primary schools in Fair Isle and Fetlar. Burravoe was also closed but has since reopened after power was restored.

11.50am: Scottish & Southern Energy are now saying 360 customers are without power in Shetland, out of 80,000 customers across the highlands and islands. Engineers are assessing damage and working “as hard as possible” get the power back on.

11.15am: Schools update: Whiteness primary school is closing at 1.15pm and Ollaberry primary school at 1pm.

10.50am: Bus services across Shetland are now also affected by cancellations. For details please check the Transport Notification portal on the left hand side of this website’s frontpage

10.50am: Around 500 Scottish & Southern Energy customers in Shetland and Orkney are without power. Across the north of Scotland 80,000 households are affected by power cuts, the company said.

10.45am: NorthLink update: Hrossey, scheduled to depart Aberdeen for Kirkwall and Lerwick at 5pm, will load as per normal this afternoon, but will only sail at 10am on Friday morning, and only to Kirkwall not Lerwick. Estimated time of arrival at Kirkwall is 6pm. She will then take up the scheduled 11.45pm southbound sailing to Aberdeen.

10.42am: Schools latest: Tingwall primary is closing early at 1pm and Urafirth primary to close at 2pm. Power has returned to Burravoe primary so it has reopened.

10.35am: No flights in and out of Scatsta airport this morning. The airport is currently reviewing the situation to see whether to cancel all flights for the day and reschedule them over the weekend.

A view over Breckon Beach, in Yell - Photo: Fiona Nicholson

10.10am: BT report that two signalling radio links serving Vidlin were knocked out by lightning overnight. Engineers have managed to restore services.

A spokeswoman for the company said: “The severe weather overnight and this morning may cause other damage and we’d ask anyone experiencing any disruption or loss of services to report them, if possible, to their service provider who will liaise with Openreach on their behalf.

“Engineers are currently checking other transmission links to local exchanges which may have been affected by the lightning, but due to the severity of the storms they do expect fault levels to rise.”

9.45am: All flights in and out of Sumburgh airport are delayed due to the high winds. The mail plane has been cancelled.

9.32am: Ferry services says that it is looking highly likely that the Bressay service will remain suspended all day. The situation will be constantly reviewed.

9.30am: Schools update from SIC: Mossbank and Olnafirth primary schools will close at 12.50pm, Cullivoe at 12.30pm. Fetlar is closed all day.

9.15am: NorthLink update: Hrossey‘s northbound sailing is under review. more info expected at 10am. Hjaltland, due depart from Lerwick 7pm is currently predicted to leave at 3am on Friday morning to avoid the worst of the weather. She is expected to arrive in Aberdeen at 3pm on Friday.

9.14am: The inter island ferry service to and from Whalsay has now also been suspended.

Snow starts to be lying across Shetland including Bressay - Photo: John Bateson

9.10am: There is now reported to be four inches of snow lying in Unst. Gritters and snow ploughs are out in force on both Yell and Unst. Snow has also started to lie on Shetland mainland roads.

Shetland Islands Council said that all main roads have been salted in preparation for the bad weather.

9.10am: Two Peterhead trawlers broke their moorings and were blown alongside the the NorthLink ferry Hjaltland by winds gusting around 65 knots at around 7am. The Starlight and Starlight Ray were doubled up at Holmsgarth No 1 when they called Lerwick Port Authority, who launched the tug Knab to assist. Meanwhile the crew of the Hjaltland, which had arrived in port two hours early to beat the worst of the weather, put out extra fenders to protect her sides from the drifting fishing boats. The Knab pulled the fishing boats off the Hjaltland and they have now moored themselves beside Victoria pier.

8.15am: The primary schools in Fair Isle and Burravoe are also closed today.

8.10am: Scottish and Southern Energy say they are well prepared for bad weather: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0utPo_692U

8.00am: Baltasound and Mid Yell junior high schools are closed due to power cuts in the north isles.

7.25am: Inter island ferry services across Bluemull Sound and between Lerwick and Bressay are suspended until further notice.

6.34am: Ferry services on Yell Sound are suspended due to the weather conditions.

 

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