Page last updated at 07:40 GMT, Thursday, 1 April 2010 08:40 UK

Thousands without power overnight

Heavy snow is affecting most parts of the country
Heavy snow affected most parts of the country

Thousands of homes across Scotland spent the night without power after heavy winds and snow battered much of the country.

Scottish Power said more than 2,000 properties were still cut off and Scottish Hydro Electric said 2,000 customers were without power.

Almost 30,000 customers lost power at some point on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, 107 people were stranded overnight on the Glasgow to Inverness train after it hit a snowdrift.

Thousands were left without electricity after storms brought down lines and disrupted supplies.

Scottish Power said households in the Lothians, Borders and the north east of Scotland were worst affected.

The intensity of the bad weather had an effect on our ability to reach some of the affected areas
Frank Mitchell
Scottish Power Energy Networks

Another 2,000 people from Laurencekirk to Banff in Aberdeenshire have no supply, Scottish Hydro said.

Both companies have drafted in hundreds of extra staff and say they hope to have almost everyone back on the system later.

The conditions have resulted in road closures across the country, including the A939 Dava to Grantown road in the Highlands, the A93 at Spittal of Glenshee in Perth and Kinross and the A7 at Danderhall, on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

There are also no trains between Perth and Inverness, or Keith and Inverurie.

Meanwhile, efforts to reach the train passengers who were stranded overnight were hampered by the remote location and snowy conditions.

Coach tragedy

The train, which left Glasgow at 1611 BST, became stuck at Blackmount between Carrbridge and Slochd, about 20 miles south of Inverness.

A second train sent out to rescue the passengers also became stuck. They were eventually reached by a third train after the route was cleared by a snow plough.

The passengers finally reached Inverness at about 0315 BST.

About 200 people were also stranded overnight in Aberdeen after the railway line to Inverness became blocked between Keith and Inverurie.

The severe weather also caused chaos on the roads and disrupted ferry services.

A school trip ended in tragedy on Wednesday when a coach carrying South Lanarkshire pupils skidded off a bridge, killing 17-year-old Natasha Paton from Cleghorn.

Suspended services

In the north of Scotland, lorries blocked the A9 and A95 in the Highlands and the A939 and B9007 were shut after heavy snow overnight.

Ferry operator Stena suspended its services between Belfast and Stranraer, while trains on the East Coast main line were halted north of Berwick after two landslips on Tuesday night.

A "near normal" service is expected to operate between Edinburgh and Newcastle on Wednesday.

Engineers drafted in from England and Wales restored power to thousands of homes in central and southern parts of Scotland and the Lothians and the Borders area.

Frank Mitchell, Director of Scottish Power Energy Networks, said: "The intensity of the bad weather had an effect on our ability to reach some of the affected areas."

Forecasters said the worst of the weather looked to be over but cold temperatures will remain in the north until the end of the week.



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