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News / Schools closing early, power cuts and poor roads as weather deteriorates

The police have advised to avoid travelling unless absolutely necessary

Photos getting stuck in Gulberwick shortly after 2pm. Photo: Stuart Polson

PEOPLE are being reminded to take care on the roads as snow continues to fall today (Monday) – while a number of schools are closing early and power cuts have affected around 2,500 properties.

The A968 road between Voe and Firth in the North Mainland is now closed to all through traffic, and there are reports of a large traffic jam in the Kames.

Police Scotland has asked for the coastguard rescue team’s 4×4 to provide some extra support.

The police said to avoid travelling unless absolutely necessary, and if driving take warm clothes, food and water in case of delays.

They also said that people in the Burravoe and Bressay areas may not be able to make outgoing calls including dialling 999 from their landline. Calls from mobile phones should not be affected.

Due to weather conditions and power outages the Bluemull ferry service was suspended at 5.15pm. Meanwhile some health centres have closed early.

A Met Office weather warning is in place for snow and ice in Shetland from today right through to Thursday.

The schools in Brae, Aith, Whalsay, Skeld and Ollaberry are closing early due to the weather.

A number of power cuts caused by snow to the overhead network have affected parts of Shetland, including the west and central mainland areas, as well as Yell and Whalsay.

A spokesperson for SSEN said engineers are on their way to begin the process of restoring customers supplies as safely and as quickly as possible.

At this stage, the aim is to have everyone back on by 9pm tonight.

NHS Shetland said in a statement on Monday evening: “We have had to close some health centres early to allow for staff to get home safely and we appreciate your co-operation with this.

All emergency services remain available. Where possible, we ask that you check-in on vulnerable loved ones, friends and neighbours, through telephone, or visiting (if safe to do so).”

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R. Robertson & Son Ltd said the number 21 bus, which left Lerwick at 2.10pm to go to Hillswick, became stuck on the three lanes at the north exit of town following an accident there.

Many other bus services are affected, such as Scalloway and Yell.

The council said gritters will no longer attempt the A968 Voe and Firth. Access for local residents is permitted but driving is said to be hazardous.

Anyone travelling to/from the Toft ferry terminal should use the alternative B9076 route, via Graven and Brae which is currently open to traffic.

Elsewhere council gritters have pre-treated roads and cleared snow where necessary. Vehicles have been reported stuck particularly on hills.

Many shops and businesses are also closing early to allow staff to travel home safely. The Viking Energy construction site has closed early.

There are some reports of vehicles off the roads in hazardous conditions, including cars are getting stuck at the Black Gaet junction on the Gulberwick side.

SSE is also reporting power cuts in the central and west mainland areas, as well as in other locations like Whalsay and Yell.

NHS Shetland said that due to bad weather it has decided to cancel tonight’s sexual health clinic, while tonight’s performance of the pantomime at the Garrison Theatre is off.

The Hillswick surgery is also closing early, as is the South Mainland swimming pool.

Information on road temperatures and states in Gulberwick, Sandness, Toft and Unst can be found here. The Shetland News weather page is located here.

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