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Tuesday, 27 February, 2001, 15:26 GMT
Details of Scotland's weather woes
Fire crews help free a snowbound car
The emergency services have been kept busy
Tens of thousands of people have been affected by the worst weather of the winter so far brought chaos to many parts of Scotland.

DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY:

Snow closed a number of roads on Tuesday morning, including the A74 which was closed to all traffic.

The A7 at Langholm, the A76 north of Kirkconnel, the A709 closed at Cemetery Brae, Lockerbie and the A77 north of Stranraer were all closed.

Police reported a six-mile tailback on the M74 and traffic was being turned back at Ecclefechan through Cumbria.

Tailbacks on the M74
The M74 has been badly affected
A rest centre was opened at Lockerbie Academy for drivers from the motorway.

A police spokesman said: "The whole of the force area east of Dumfries is badly affected by snow and drifting snow.

"Many trees have come down across major and minor roads, causing further blockages.

"Police advice remains do not travel unless your journey is unavoidable and be prepared for delays and bad driving conditions."

A public weather information line was opened for people in the region on 01387 251188.

THE BORDERS:

An estimated 50% of homes were left without power on Tuesday morning and all schools in the region remained closed.

Main roads were closed and a council snowplough became stuck on a section of the A68.

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders police said: "The conditions have caused a white-out and in some places the drifts are as high as the hedges."

Borders Primary Health Care Trust cancelled all "non-essential services".

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Courts Service said two courts, Jedburgh Sheriff Court and Peebles Sheriff Court, were closed due to the weather.

TAYSIDE:

Some 1,500 homes were without power and a number of roads were closed.

Cars on the M8
Many drivers spent the night on the M8
The northbound section of the A9 Perth to Glasgow was closed for a while due to a jack-knifed lorry north of Dunblane.

There were also problems between Netherton and Blackford caused by HGV's stuck in snow.

Tayside Police reported major problems in Forfar where there was up to eight inches of snow and some serious drifting.

A number of cars and lorries were also reported to be stuck throughout the region.

EDINBURGH:

Capital education bosses closed all the city's schools, affecting around 50,000 pupils.

A council spokesman said: "We will have to wait and see if the schools remain closed tomorrow, but today we are keeping all our schools closed."

M74
Gritters have been trapped in the traffic jams
The Scottish Parliament's Education, Sport and Culture committee was also cancelled.

The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund cancelled the launch of its latest campaign.

The M8 motorway between Glasgow and Edinburgh was blocked in many places by snow, jack-knifed trucks and stuck cars.

The bad weather has affected hospitals in the Lothian area.

There is no heating at the Princess Margaret Rose and City Hospitals, but heating has been restored to Liberton Hospital.

Non-essential operations have been cancelled for Tuesday and Wednesday.

There are nurse shortages at the Royal Infirmary, Western General and Liberton Hospitals.

Nurses who live near hospitals are being urged to call in for duty.

LANARKSHIRE:

Law Hospital in Carluke has been effectively cut-off and the night shift staff have had to keep working because their replacements have not been able to get through.

HIGHLANDS:

In Moray, Keith secondary school is closed along with 10 other primary schools across the area.

In the Western Isles, more than 20 schools are closed - and with weather conditions deteriorating there, some Stornoway schools including the Nicolson Institute are sending pupils home.

EAST DUNBARTONSHIRE:

Strong winds caused drifts on previously cleared roads and heavy traffic held-up gritting vehicles.

Stranded motorists in a village hall
Motorists in Aberdeenshire spent the night in a hall
A council spokesman said the following roads were closed: A803 to Kilsyth; Auchinairn/ Robroyston Road; Auchinloch Road; Balmuildy Road; Cathmuir Road; Crow Road; Stockiemuir Road and Westerhill Road.

A number of other roads in the region were declared "passable with care".

Meanwhile, a nursery school, a primary school and three high schools were closed.

The spokesman added: "All other schools are open although a lack of teaching staff means that a full education service cannot be offered.

"Home care and general Social Work services are operating as normally although this will continue to be monitored throughout the day."

FIFE:

Police described the weather conditions as among the worst they have ever had to cope with.

A spokesman for Fife Constabulary said the M90 was closed because of the snow and a substantial number of vehicles were also trapped on the A92 regional road.

He added: "The conditions are atrocious and to start out on an unnecessary journey at this moment would not only be silly but even, in many cases, quite reckless."

Many areas of East Neuk were described as "inaccessible" while most of the region's minor roads were effectively blocked.

The Forth and the Tay Road Bridges were both closed to high-sided vehicles.

SHETLAND ISLES:

Almost one third of schools, 12 out of 35, were closed.

ORKNEY ISLES:

All 24 schools were closed for the second day running.

STRATHCLYDE

The fire brigade said it was encountering problems attending incidents due to the number of road closures.

A spokesman said: "Due to adverse weather and the increasing number of road closures we are experiencing difficulty in proceeding to incidents.

"We would therefore ask householders to be aware of dangers of fire in the home and be more vigilant in relation to fire safety matters."

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