An amber notification warning of severe weather from the Met Office remains valid from 12noon on Friday 23rd December until 6am on Saturday, 24th December 2016 with a spell of very strong south to south-westerly winds is expected to develop on Friday.
Gusts of 80mph are likely quite widely, with westerly winds gusting to 90mph likely across parts of western and northern Scotland later on Friday and overnight into Saturday. Winds will then ease on Saturday morning.
People are advised to be aware of the potential for some structural damage – this more likely across the northwest of the warning area – as well as disruption to power supplies and travel, with restrictions on bridges and disruption to ferries.
Anyone looking to change a booking on a Flybe flight with Loganair on 23rd or 24th December – for which they already hold a reservation to travel – are asked to check seat availability on their desired alternative on preceding days at www.flybe.com then to give Loganair a call on 0344 800 2855 with a booking reference.
Ferry services are very likely to be disrupted on Friday 23rd December and possibly Saturday 24th December.
Bus services are expected to continue as normal throughout Thursday 22nd December. However, there is likely to be disruption to services on Friday 23rd December.
Members of the public are advised to travel with care. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Police will be monitoring all causeways.
It is advised that any loose debris be secured, with the construction industry asked to secure scaffolding and any lose items on building sites.
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is asking family, neighbours and friends living nearby to assist and support elderly and vulnerable people.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is reminding members of the public to take extra care if using candles during any power cuts which occur due to winter storms. In the event of a loss of 999 services, all fire stations will be manned by emergency services.
SSE is on alert and has put in place its contingency plans to deal with any damage the storm may cause to the electricity network. Any customers who lose their electricity supply are urged to contact SSE on 105 to report damage or highlight neighbours or friends who may need extra help.
All services are subject to further disruption and a final update for this weekend, will be given at lunchtime tomorrow.
Updates will be provided via the Public Information section of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s website.