Page last updated at 14:42 GMT, Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:42 UK

Wintry blast leads to power cuts

Peebles
The Scottish Borders was among the areas badly affected by snowfalls and resulting power cuts

Bad weather has left thousands of homes across Scotland without power, with Galloway the worst affected area.

Scottish Power said about 17,000 properties in their network area had now lost supplies.

They included 8,000 customers in Dumfries and Galloway, in particular the Newton Stewart area, and 4,000 in the Scottish Borders.

A combination of wet snow, strong winds and falling trees had caused most of the problems, a spokesman said.

A spokesman said every effort was being made to restore supplies to the vast majority of homes by evening.

The wintry weather sparked a rescue operation in the Borders on Tuesday evening.

Three walkers had to be rescued from a refuge hut in the Cheviot Hills.

Road accidents

The men - who were said to be well-equipped for conditions - were forced to take shelter due to increasingly strong winds and snowfalls.

The Border Search and Rescue unit (BSAR) was called out to the incident at about 1920 BST on Tuesday.

A BSAR spokesman said none of the three men was injured and they were escorted to safety in Yetholm.

Two secondary schools and 23 primary schools were also closed in the Borders due to the bad weather.

Police reported "numerous" road accidents across the region due to difficult driving conditions.

Many routes were closed for a time with the A68 and A702 among the worse affected.



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