Page last updated at 18:25 GMT, Tuesday, 30 March 2010 19:25 UK

Snow warning as homes lose power


The BBC's Steven Duff reports on the conditions facing motorists

Blizzard warnings have been issued for most of Scotland after severe weather caused major disruption.

Scottish Power said electricity supplies to about 22,000 homes had been cut during the day.

Most had power restored by early evening but Scottish Power warned it would not be able to reconnect about 150 homes in Ayrshire until Wednesday.

Scottish Hydro Electric said about 100 customers in the north east, Tayside and Argyll were without power.

The Met Office has warned heavy snow will affect most parts of the country on Tuesday evening.

It said conditions would worsen in parts of the Highlands and an area stretching from the north east down through central Scotland and into Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Borders on Tuesday evening, with heavy snow falling through the night.

Strong to gale force winds are also expected to lead to widespread blizzard conditions in the west.

The Met Office warned of drifting snow in some areas and said: "Many roads are liable to become impassable and some interruptions to power supplies are possible."

Flooding in Musselburgh
The River Esk burst its banks in the middle of Musselburgh

The north of Scotland was worst affected on Monday night, with temperatures plunging to -5C at Cairnwell, near Braemar.

Ten lorries were stranded for several hours on the M90 close to Bridge of Earn in Perthshire after becoming stuck in about 7.5cm (3in) of snow.

Snow ploughs and gritters were called to the scene at 0245 BST, and traffic was moving again within a few hours.

Snow fell in many parts of the country and heavy rain led to the River Esk bursting its banks in Musselburgh.

No homes were flooded or evacuated but East Lothian Council advised residents along Eskview to move valuables to places of safety.

Supplying sandbags

The council has been supplying sandbags to dozens of homes along that stretch of the river.

Lanes were restricted at the Skye and Erskine bridges because of high winds, while the Tay bridge was only open to cars.

Grampian Police said there was heavy surface water in Aberdeen city centre. Snow was causing problems further inland, especially on higher routes, and several roads were only passable with care.

Some drivers were forced to dig their cars out from 1ft of snow close to Denny in Stirlingshire.

Scottish Power said about 7,000 homes in North Ayrshire lost power.

Flood watches

Properties were affected in the Largs, Fairlie and Saltcoats area due to a combination of ice on the power lines and high winds.

The power supplier said it had been unable to reconnect 150 homes due to individual faults on spur lines.

Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders, which had been forecast to be badly hit, appeared to escape the worst of the weather on Tuesday morning.

However, flood watches were in place on most rivers in the regions as heavy rain continued to fall.

Forecasters have warned the cold snap is set to continue for the next two days, but temperatures will rise slightly by Thursday, when snow will retreat to higher ground.

Motorists have been urged to take extra care, and to refer to the Traffic Scotland website before setting off.

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