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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 January, 2005, 16:58 GMT
Thaw follows heavy snow blizzards
Ice sign
The heavy snow has been thawing throughout the day
Heavy overnight snow which caused travel chaos and blocked many roads in parts of central Scotland has largely cleared.

Police said Fife and central Scotland were worst affected by the snow, with up to 10in (25cms) falling in places.

Most of the roads which were closed have since reopened, although police are urging drivers to take care.

Schools closed in the Western Isles following blizzard warnings are expected to reopen on Wednesday.

Coastguard and Royal Navy helicopters were drafted in to airlift patients to hospital in two separate incidents.

The navy helicopter from HMS Gannet at Prestwick took a patient from the island of Colonsay to hospital in Oban after the air ambulance was unable to land because of bad weather.

The wintry conditions also prevented a patient being taken by air ambulance from Durness to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. The Stornoway Coastguard helicopter was used for the airlift.

Penguin at Blair Drummond Safari Park

P&O ferries have cancelled all sailings between Cairnryan and Larne due to gale-force winds.

There was a spate of minor accidents as the snow created treacherous early morning driving conditions on many roads.

Two lorries jack-knifed on the M74, and there were also problems for motorists on the M8 in the Harthill area.

Police said all roads in Argyll were now passable with care and the same warning applied to the A81 between Callander and Aberfoyle.

Drivers across the country were being warned to leave extra time for their journeys.

Some First ScotRail train services were disrupted, along with a number of flights to and from Scotland's airports and some Caledonian MacBrayne ferry services.




SEE ALSO:
Scotland braced for more storms
17 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Schools reopen after isle tragedy
17 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Chances of flooding 'rising fast'
10 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Severe weather batters Scotland
08 Jan 05 |  Scotland


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