Weather caution

With high winds over night expected in the Western Isles, Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse has urged Scots to take care this weekend.

Met Office forecasts point to gale force winds in the Western Isles tonight, with a number of ferry routes cancelled. meanwhile there are currently 14 flood alerts and four flood warnings in place by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

Mr Wheelhouse said: “With an amber alert in the Western Isles for gale force winds over night, I would urge local people to take extra care and to follow advice from the police and local authorities, particularly the risk of waves over-topping coastal defences.

“The challenging weather we have seen over recent days and weeks has hit some areas hard – and the community response has been heartening. While we do not expect heavy rainfall, with saturated ground or melting snow in some areas and with rivers swollen, further disruption is possible.

“The Scottish Government remains vigilant and continues to work closely with out partners to monitor the situation. I would ask that people take heed of flood advice from SEPA in the build up to the Hogmanay celebrations, as the situation may change at short notice.

“We would advise anyone travelling to plan their journey carefully, using all the available information from Traffic Scotland, local radio and public transport operators.

“In particular, ferry and air users seeking to travel to and from the Western Isles and Northern Isles should check with their individual service operator in advance for the very latest information before making their journey.”