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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 January 2008, 16:06 GMT
Gale-force winds cause disruption
Overturned lorry on M74
The gale-force winds caused this lorry to overturn on the M9

Winds of up to 80mph left thousands of homes across Scotland without power and closed major road bridges.

Gale-force winds and heavy rain hit parts of central, western and southern Scotland.

The weather brought down trees and toppled lorries. One man was rescued when his car entered the Clyde.

The Forth Road Bridge reopened at 1800 BST after being closed since mid-morning, while the Tay bridge was also closed for much of the day.

The Erskine bridge has reopened fully.

At about 2300 BST Scottish Power said about 1,000 homes had no electricity but the majority should be reconnected within hours.

Scottish and Southern Energy said about 1,000 homes in Argyll were still without power.

At its peak, about 20,000 homes were without electricity.

Schools closed

Five lorries overturned on the M74 and ferry and rail services were also affected.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue attended 144 incidents overnight.

Car in Wemyss Bay
A man was rescued from this car after it left the road

These included flooding, building fires, road accidents, a water rescue and a train crash.

At 1130 GMT on Tuesday, a man was rescued from flooding in Greenock Road, Wemyss Bay.

Crews also attended a locomotive crash at 0400 GMT on Wednesday, two miles north of New Cumnock.

Guests at the Galley of Lorne Inn in Ardfern, Argyll, had to be evacuated after the roof came off at about 0700 GMT.

The extreme wind also damaged a university hall of residence in Dundee.

Tayside Police said they were working to clear fallen trees across many routes, while Central Scotland Police said numerous roads were blocked or partially blocked.

In Fife, seven schools and one elderly day care centre were closed.

In Falkirk town centre, Bank Street was also closed due to the threat of falling masonry.

In Stirling, a 42-year-old man from Arbroath was taken to hospital after his lorry blew over on the M9 at Pirnhall.

Damaged car
A car damaged by debris from Glasgow's Great Eastern Hotel

Northern Constabulary said conditions were hazardous on Uist and Benbecula and drivers crossing causeways and bridges should take particular care.

All schools on Barra, along with some on Benbecula and North Uist, have been closed because of the gales.

Highland Council said seaweed, stones and branches were being swept from roads in Lochaber and snow was affecting travel on the A884.

BBC forecaster Judith Tonner said conditions should improve throughout the day.

"The very deep area of low pressure across Scotland overnight brought severe gale-force winds to many parts of the country with gusts as high as 84mph", she said.

"However these will continue to ease down very slowly during Wednesday."



SEE ALSO
'140mph' wind at mountain tunnel
09 Jan 08 |  Highlands and Islands
Chaos as Forth Road Bridge closes
09 Jan 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
High winds cause major problems
09 Jan 08 |  Scotland
Driver survives shoreline crash
09 Jan 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Country hit by fresh snow showers
04 Jan 08 |  Scotland
Cold snap brings snow to Scotland
03 Jan 08 |  Scotland

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