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Storm Gertrude exits east as normality returns

Two people escaped uninjured when their van was blown over near Gulberwick on the A970 on Friday morning - Photo: Chris Cope/ShetNews


BLUSTERY weather bringing snow is due on Friday night with the tail end of Storm Gertrude as island life returns to a degree of normality following Shetland’s first red weather warning from the Met Office that brought 105mph gusts.

Friday night’s sailings to and from Aberdeen have been cancelled as sea states remain high and Sumburgh airport was shut for the entire day, but inter island ferries have started running again on the main routes.

Power has been restored to homes in Brae and Northmavine after power outages affecting 430 properties during the day, but 47 properties in Brae and 133 in Sandness were still waiting to be switched back on late on Friday.

Meanwhile 41 customers on Yell and 78 on Fetlar have been told they will have to wait until Saturday morning before engineers can take specialist equipment across on the ferry to repair faults on the high voltage line there.

A man and a woman were freed after they were trapped in a van that blew over on the main A970 near the golf driving range between Gulberwick and Quarff as the Met Office issued a red warning for west south westerly winds of more than 100mph across Shetland on Friday.

Fire, ambulance and police were called to the accident around 10.15am when the van was blown down an embankment. Both occupants are reported to be safe and well.

The Met Office issued their first ever red weather warning for Shetland since the colour-coded system was introduced in 2011, with wind speeds of 105mph recorded in Lerwick and Baltasound in the early afternoon when the strom peaked.

The warnings have now been reduced to a yellow “be aware” alert overnight and into Saturday with westerly gales set to bring snow and freezing temperatures.

While Storm Gertrude attracted a great deal of attention for Shetland from outside the isles, fears of widespread damage were not realised.

The booking office at Ulsta ferry terminal experienced some water ingress and there was flooding in Scalloway’s Main Street, but no other reports of damage came in from the authorities.

Meanwhile the coastguard rescue helicopter was called out to airlift a woman to hospital in Lerwick from Mid Yell at around 6pm as the ferries were not running at the time, due to 75 knot winds.

The Faroese ferry Norrona sheltering from the storm off Lunna on Friday. Photo Ivan Reid

The Ulsta ferry terminal at lunchtime on Friday - Photo: Robert Odie