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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 January, 2005, 12:13 GMT
'The wind lifted me off my feet'
Doolie Donald Martin, 44, runs the Thorlee Guest House in Stornoway where winds reached 101mph. He spoke to BBC Scotland's news website about the worst gales to hit the area in years.

We had a horrendous night - it started getting bad from late afternoon and peaked at about midnight.

I'm right in the centre of Stornoway, at the harbour, beside the town hall, where the bad weather was at its worst.

The road outside was closed at 5.30pm and wasn't re-opened again until this morning.

However, people are still unable to get through the town itself because of flooding there.

Mr Martin
Mr Martin said he risked his own life
Our fresh worry today was the high tide but that seems to have passed okay.

I risked my own life last night once I realised there had been damage to the guest house building.

I was back and forth with joiners, blocking up broken windows and collecting slates and ridge tiles.

At one point the wind caught me and I was taken along Cromwell Street.

I got the fright of my life - I had been pretty confident about venturing out as I'm a big bloke of about 15 stone.

But when the wind caught me I was thrown to the ground and my knees and arms are grazed and bloodied today.

A teacher broke her wrist and suffered facial injuries when she literally flew down the street.

'Nothing like it'

It was pretty horrendous on Tuesday afternoon when staff at the guest house spent an hour taking the elderly to the buses.

I had very little sleep last night - I think I got to my bed at 2.30am, but I couldn't settle because of the storm.

Thorlee Guest House, Stornoway
The Thorlee Guest House in Stornoway
In my 44 years, I have never seen gales like the ones we have had.

The wind has now eased, but that's not the end of the story for us today.

I am now waiting for a builder to come and assess the damage, there is debris everywhere.

We have had no ferries and therefore we have not had supplies from the mainland in more than two day, so bread in particular is in short supply.

I have a bakers in the town centre which I am unable to get to because of flooding.

But, in the midst of all of this it is still business as usual - we have 14 guests, mostly people who are here for work, and we will be making their stay as comfortable as possible.

Storms create havoc in Scotland
12 Jan 05 |  Scotland


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