Amber alert for Western Isles UPDATED

The multi-agency Emergency Planning Group for the Western Isles, WIEPCG, met today to discuss the severe weather forecast for the Islands on Wednesday 10th December.

High winds are expected with gusts of up to 80mph and possibly as high as 90mph. An amber warning has been issued.

The following notification of severe weather was received from the Met Office which is valid from 03:00 on Wed, 10th Dec 2014 until 18:00 on Wed, 10th Dec 2014 - “Westerly winds will gust 70 to 80 mph at times and will be combined with exceptionally high waves. The public should be prepared for dangerous conditions, especially along causeways and coastal roads exposed to the west. This will coincide with high tides and a storm surge.”

The police have advised the public not to travel unless it absolutely necessary.

All schools and nurseries in the Western Isles will be closed tomorrow, Wednesday 10th December.

In addition, all depots, libraries, museums, sports and leisure facilities in the Western Isles will be closed tomorrow.

All bin collection services for the Western Isles have been cancelled for tomorrow.

Public bus services across Uist and Barra may be restricted to approximately 11am to 6pm. Public bus services across Lewis and Harris may operate a normal school holiday service however all these services may be subject to cancellation at short notice and timetable delays.

The travelling public are advised to contact the bus operator directly for further information. Contact phone numbers are published on the bus service timetables available on the CNES website.

Homecare across the Outer Hebrides will face disruption; care will be delivered according to assessed risks with need been prioritised. Day Care for Adult Services is cancelled. Care provision for complex care in care units will continue with local staff. Care home provision will continue with local staff.

Care times may well be re-arranged and identified contacts will be communicated with in relation to changes.

SEPA has also issued a flood warning for the Western Isles: ‘Very high waves are expected to affect the area from Tuesday morning. Exposed coastal areas including roads, causeways and low lying properties may be at risk from flooding due to wave overtopping particularly during periods of high tide.’

CnES Roads and Police will be monitoring all causeways. The Bràighe will also be monitored.

The public are advised to secure any lose debris. The construction industry are advised to secure scaffolding and any lose items on building sites.

The Comhairle would ask family, neighbours and friends living nearby to assist and support elderly and vulnerable people.

Updates will be provided via the Public Information section of the Comhairle’s website at:

CNES Public Notices

Twitter: @cne_siar

WIEPCG are on Facebook where information will also be updated as appropriate.