Hurricane-force winds have forced a good majority of travel within Scotland to completely cease, delaying the use of all ScotRail trains. Some limited travel services have begun to run again, but the majority is still down, while tens of thousands of homes across the nation have been left without power.
There are reportedly over 45,000 homes within Scotland currently without power as a record storm from the Atlantic jet stream brought in gusts ranging over 100 mph (160km/h). These are the strongest winds the country has ever faced, hence why government officials have decided to close down the various travel routes.
A Met Office amber-colored warning has been lifted for some parts of the country, but yellow warnings are still in place across central and southern Scotland, as well as in Northern England and Northern Ireland.
The yellow “be aware” alert, which warns for strong winds and a chance of snow, will remain in place across all of the aforementioned areas for the entire weekend, officials say. Citizens were warned to prepare for the onslaught of weather hitting their homes over the next two days.
“We are facing a monumental task in getting to the damaged equipment. Trees and branches have made some rural roads impassable,” said Scottish Hydro Power in a statement, regarding the power outages. “We are also having to remove airborne debris tangled up in our power lines. And then there is the added problem of fading daylight, strong winds and rain. We will work as long as we can but working in the dark can be potentially dangerous.”
The company added, “It is regrettable that some of our customers may be left without power overnight.”
Authorities cautioned citizens to remain indoors, or be as careful as possible should they be required to travel.
Network Rail, the company responsible for Scotland’s rail infrastructure, closed down all of their ScotRail services throughout the country. This was done in order to inspect all lines for any damage caused by the incredible winds and high tides. It is unclear whether any damages were found, or how long it would take to repair any issues discovered during this initial inspection. However, many of the rails have now returned to service, with the exception of a few.
The exponential winds were said to be the cause of a powerful jet stream that pushed areas of low pressure towards the region. Due to the inclement weather, the country experienced overturned trucks, damaged power lines, and entire trains halted on the railway.