Thousands still without power after Storm Otto

Engineers are working to connect thousands of homes still without power as a result of Storm Otto.

About 30,000 properties were initially affected but by 16:30 Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said more than half had seen supplies restored.

High winds and fallen trees have caused damage to vehicles and buildings.

Trains, buses and ferry services have been delayed or cancelled, with trees blocking many routes in Aberdeenshire.

SSEN said engineers had restored supplies to thousands of customers, but roughly 16,000 households were still without electricity by late afternoon.

Mark Rough, operations director at SSEN Distribution, said: “Due to the extent of damage, some customers are likely to remain off supply for over 48 hours.

“We’re doing everything we can to restore power as quickly as possible.”

A new Met Office yellow warning for snow and ice has been issued for some parts of Scotland, mainly on higher routes in the north, until 09:00 on Saturday.

The first named storm of the year brought widespread winds of more than 80mph, with Cairngorm mountain recording speeds of 120mph.

Kenny McKenzie

Mintlaw resident Kenny McKenzie said he was hoping to relocated to Fraserburgh after losing power at home

Kenny McKenzie, told the BBC Scotland that a tree was blown down outside his house in Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire and he lost power at 07:45.

“With no word, no internet, no mobile phone, everything stopped working,” he said.

“One of our neighbours has a gas cooker so she came round with a flask so that we could have our coffee, which was great first thing in the morning.

“Hopefully we’re going down to Fraserburgh because the power’s on there so we’ll wait and see if there’s a bus, seemingly the buses have stopped as well though nobody seems to know.”

Skiing facilities closed

A warning sign on the road to the Cairngorm ski area at Aviemore as high winds forced the closure of all snowsports facilities

SSEN said mobile food vans were being deployed to the main areas still off supply and that further information could be found on its website and social media platforms.

Any customer who has been off supply for longer than 12 hours is also entitled to claim up to £30 for food, per day.

More than 100 schools in Aberdeenshire were closed on Friday, with almost 50 in Highland and a handful in Moray also affected.

Angus Council said the Burnside Primary School building was not safe for children and staff, after the roof was seriously damaged.

Children from P1-7 will be provided with remote learning from 22 February when the school returns from the mid-term break.

North East Scotland College in Aberdeen also closed following damage to the roof of its city campus.

BBC Scotland Weather said gusts of 83mph had been recorded in Inverbervie, Aberdeenshire, and 80mph in Lossiemouth, Moray, and at Tain in the Highlands.

The storm was named Otto by the Danish Met Office. The UK Met Office has adopted the same name.

It is the first named storm to hit the UK since Franklin last February.

The Met Office’s season for named storms runs from September to September, and the names are given to raise awareness of severe weather.

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