RETURNING to work after the festive period was a headache for many this week as further storms battered the central belt of Scotland.
December’s floods and hurricane-strength winds were followed by more of the same, with gusts of up to 90 miles per hour and a red alert warning from the met office grinding the country to a halt on Tuesday morning.
Southsiders awoke to find their homes and cars battered by fallen trees — and for commuters who made it to work, the situation worsened as many Scotrail services as well as ferries and flights were cancelled.
And the situation was no better for drivers, as the Kingston bridge was closed to all traffic throughout the morning and into the afternoon due to an overturned lorry.
A spokesman for Glasgow city council reported a total 32 road closures and stated that the worst took up to three hours to clear.
Once again, Transport Scotland’s multi-agency response team was activated, and speaking on the aftermath yesterday (Wednesday), transport minister Keith Brown commented: “There’s been a huge amount of work done: over 350 teams out to make sure they can clear all the trees which have been causing obstructions.
“So there’s a lot of work ongoing to make sure everything gets back to normal”.
The clean-up process may be further disrupted by heavy showers continuing throughout the week, which the met office say will turn “increasingly wintry”.
Today (Thursday) sees an easing of showers and wind, with sun breaking through by the afternoon.
However it’s a small interlude, with more wind and heavy rain forecast for Friday and Saturday.
By Sunday, the Met Office are predicting “gales or perhaps severe gales at times” across western Strathclyde, and a risk of snow over higher ground.
East Renfrewshire council has issued a statement of preparation for worsening weather, with 50 more grit bins delivered across the area this week.
The move comes after a review of grit bin access, and residents will now have access to 253 normal bins as well as 18 larger community facilities.
An ERC spokesman told The Extra: “East Renfrewshire has 471km of roads. That’s enough to go from here to Edinburgh and back three times.
“It means that communities can help themselves, which is particularly important during prolonged cold spells when the council’s roads service needs to focus on keeping main routes open”.
Turn to page 8 for more details of the storm.