Storm Gertrude wreaks havoc as Met Office issues ‘risk to life’ warning

This flight to Edinburgh was the last to leave Sumburgh Airport. Photo: Dave Donaldson
This flight to Edinburgh was the last to leave Sumburgh Airport. Photo: Dave Donaldson
The runway at Sumburgh Airport takes a battering. Photo: Dave Donaldson
The runway at Sumburgh Airport takes a battering. Photo: Dave Donaldson











Strong winds have wreaked havoc, including blowing over a high-sided vehicle on the A970 at Gulberwick.

Hurricane force winds are predicted this afternoon prompting the Met Office to issue a red “risk to life” warning.

Police, the fire and rescue service and the ambulance service have responded to the call at Gulberwick this morning and found that although the occupants of the vehicle had been trapped for a time they were not injured.

The Met Office originally issued an amber “be prepared” warning but that has been upgraded to a red warning with gusts of up to 100 miles per hour expected.

People have been warned to expect dangerous conditions including structural damage and flying debris. There is also a likelihood of disruption to power supplies. It has been suggested that householders should take action to secure loose items.

Travel links have been disrupted by the west to southwesterly winds. The 7.40am flight from Sumburgh to Kirkwall was delayed for almost three hours. The morning flight to Edinburgh was subject to a similarly lengthy delay, whilst the 8.25am to Aberdeen was cancelled altogether.

Northbound flights have faced similar problems. One flight from Aberdeen was cancelled. Two further flights from Aberdeen were subject to delays, as were flights from Edinburgh and Inverness.

NorthLink ferry services are also affected by the weather. The northbound sailing from Aberdeen to Lerwick has been cancelled while the southbound sailing is under review.

At the time of writing NorthLink planned to sail from Shetland to Aberdeen directly, missing their scheduled stop in Kirkwall. A further boat will sail from Aberdeen to collect passengers in Kirkwall before returning to Aberdeen.

All construction work on the new Anderson High School involving the use of cranes was stopped.

ZetTrans took the decision to cancel buses in light of the weather warning.

Yesterday Shetland Islands Council announced that all schools were to be closed today owing to the severe weather warnings.

Shetland College was also closed to pupils today. At lunchtime staff were told to go home as well.


Add Your Comment
  • Alan Skinner

    • January 29th, 2016 21:51

    We suffered mayhem in Cullivoe today, with slates flying everywhere, roofs flying off croft houses, and power cuts galore. We were without power for eight hours, but expected to be without for days. I just wanted to congratulate the very valiant repairmen, who braved ridiculous conditions to climb up power poles and restore us to normality. Sometimes, Shetland is a very impressive place to live.

    Alan Skinner
    New House


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