Thursday, 5 December 2013

Atlantic Storm

The first real storm of the winter came through this morning, starting in the early hours, with a westerly gale rising to a crescendo around seven this morning.  The power went off just before five.  A lightning bolt, with a simultaneous crack of thunder, was probably responsible for damaging the telephone network: local calls still work, as does the internet, but we can't 'phone civilisation.  At about the same time, some of the mobile networks also stopped functioning.

However, despite very high winds, 24mm of a mixture of rain, sleet, hail and snow, and a high spring tide which coincided with the peak of the gale, there are very few reports of damage.  Several noticeboards, including this one opposite the parish church, have come down, a chicken coop with its protesting contents was rolled over, a shed lost its tarpaulin roof, and sundry boats at the jetty were washed away and deposited below Meall mo Chridh.

By nine the skies were clearing, but the wind has gone round into the north, the temperature dropped dramatically, and we're now enjoying frequent flurries of snow, which are forecast to continue into tomorrow.  Fortunately for those who are dependent on electricity for their heating, power was restored at half past one this afternoon.

We've been lucky, but other places have been less so.  Scottish rail and road networks have been badly disrupted, and the day's first CalMac ferry has just passed us on its way out to Coll and Tiree.

With many lines of communication cut, it was good to see the Royal Mail van doing its rounds - on schedule - despite the deteriorating conditions.

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