ALL Shetland schools will close on Friday as police joined transport operators and power suppliers with warning’s about violent west-south-west gales.
The Met Office has upgraded its weather warning from yellow to amber as Storm Gertrude brings gusts of more than 90mph peaking between 7am and 5pm.
Shetland Islands Council says Shetland College, the Eric Gray centre and all youth clubs will also be closed.
Area commander chief inspector Lindsay Tulloch said surface water and flooding on roads is likely, especially near coastal areas, with the possibility of debris or other obstruction on the roads.
Ferry operator NorthLink has said there is a high possibility that both of Friday’s north and southbound sailings will be cancelled.
The company added that if the conditions in the Fair Isle Gap are really bad, the ferry Hjaltland may be repositioned to Kirkwall to do the Friday night trip to Aberdeen.
Thursday’s southbound sailing from Lerwick may be subject to “minor delays”, while the freight boat Helliar’s northbound journey on Thursday has been cancelled.
Shetland Islands Council has warned that its inter-island ferries are also likely to be disrupted on Friday, with passengers being asked to check the voicebank service for up to date information.
Meanwhile, Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution has issued its own yellow alert ahead of Friday, saying its weather model suggests Shetland and Orkney will be hit with winds in excess of 100mph.
Engineers have been sent to the isles in anticipation of disruption to power supplies.
A detailed weather forecast can be found at www.shetnews.co.uk/weather