[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 24 November 2005, 18:30 GMT
North affected by severe weather
Inverness street
Snow is making driving conditions difficult
Heavy snow and freezing temperatures have been causing problems in north and north eastern Scotland.

Schools and a number of roads have been closed, with drivers warned to take extra care.

Four walkers who were stranded overnight in freezing conditions in the Cairngorms have been found.

Weather forecasters said wintry showers would continue until Friday morning and gale-force northerly winds could cause drifting snow on high-level roads.

In Aberdeenshire, 17 schools were closed or partially closed because of the snow.

About 100 farmers have been contracted to help clear snow in the north east, in addition to 50 gritters and 60 snow ploughs.

A Highland Council spokesman said there had been no school closures, but headteachers were monitoring the situation.

He said the council had 230 staff ready to drive snow ploughs and gritters.

Extra measures were put in place by Scottish Hydro Electric to deal with any potential impact on power supplies.

Inverness-shire
Wintry conditions are causing problems for some

Additional engineers were drafted in and helicopters were on standby to ferry them to affected areas.

The Skye Bridge was closed to high-sided vehicles and the A939 Cockbridge to Tomintoul road, traditionally among the first to be affected by the weather, was also closed.

Icy conditions and drifting snow also made conditions difficult for drivers on other routes.

In the Cairngorms a mountain rescue was launched after four hillwalkers got stranded in heavy blizzards on the plateau of Ben Macdui.

The men, who had spent a night in survival bags, were said to be safe and well following the rescue operation.


SEE ALSO:
Blizzard conditions to hit north
24 Nov 05 |  Scotland
Winter weather warning to drivers
23 Nov 05 |  Scotland


RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific