Winds batter West Highlands and islands

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Oban’s George Street at high tide, Thursday morning December 5 2013. Photo with thanks to Amy Russell.

Flooding, fallen trees, broken windows, school and road closures greeted West Highland and island residents on Thursday morning, December 5 2013.

Barra airport recorded consistent wind gusts of 98.6 mph overnight, while Oban Airport recorded gusts 75mph and consistent winds of 55mph at 7am; 80,000 homes in Argyll, the Highlands and Tayside were without power during the morning as 1,000 engineers worked to restore power lines; Oban’s Esplanade and George Street were badly affected by flooding as high tide combined with strong winds to force a storm surge over the roads and into shops fronting the roads; the Skye bridge was closed as was the A83 near the rest and be thankful because of an overturned lorry, while many roads throughout the West Highlands were temporarily closed until debris was cleared.

For more photos from the morning’s gales and a round-up of damage caused see The Oban Times December 12 2013.