24th September 2018
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Hurricane blasts cause disruption and minor damage

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Shetland suffered extremely high winds last night with hurricane blasts reaching up to 93mph in Lerwick.

Several schools have been closed today due to power cuts and heating problems and there is disruption to inter-island ferry services.

Meanwhile a fishing boat broke her moorings at Scalloway Harbour in the stormy conditions in the early hours, prompting a major operation to secure her.

A 999 call was made at 2.13am to warn that the 25-metre crab boat Amadeus was in danger of smashing into the pier at Scalloway.

The coastguard’s Lerwick rescue team attended the scene along with the sector manager and Scalloway’s harbour master.

Cadets from the NAFC also lent a hand, and the Aith Lifeboat was put on standby.

The crew were onboard the vessel helping with the operation to tie her down. She was eventually secured at just after 4am.

Head of ports and harbours Captain Roger Moore praised the quick and professional response which, he said, had saved the boat from ending up on the rocks.

Ross MacLennan, one of the pier masters at Scalloway, praised the work of those who had been involved in the incident.

“I can’t thank the coastguard enough, and the four or five cadets from the NAFC, who phoned the coastguard in the first place,” he said.

“I’m really quite impressed with them all. Even with 10 to 11 of us on the pier, it was a real struggle.”

BT outages were reported on aerials at Saxa Vord, Compass Head and Collafirth. All are now back up and running.

However pole fires and power outages were reported in Sandwick, East Burrafirth, Scatsta, Lochend, North Roe, Tingwall, Laxfirth, Strand and Gott.

Two extra engineers and six linesmen from south have been supporting the local team to help restore power as quickly as possible.

All inter-island ferries have been suspended and are currently under review. Voicebanks are being updated as necessary.

Schools at Olnafirth, Whalsay and Tingwall are closed. A breakdown in the heating system also forced the school in Sandwick to close its doors, too.

Flights from Sumburgh Airport have been delayed, although not stopped altogether. Passengers seeking to fly south are being advised to check before heading off.

Flying from Scatsta Airport has, however, been suspended.

NorthLink meanwhile is warning that the 7pm northbound sailing of the Hjaltland from Aberdeen could face delays.

Similarly, the Hrossey sailing to Orkney and Aberdeen could face a delay when she gets to Hatston.

The freight vessel Helliar is scheduled to depart Lerwick for Aberdeen at 6pm.

The council reported minor damage to some of its housing stock, with slates blown off roofs and a window broken.

A road sign was blown down at Ladies Drive in Lerwick.

Winds are expected to ease today, however north-easterly gales will return overnight.

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About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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