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Council urging residents to stay safe with Storm Arwen heading to Highlands

By Tom Ramage

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For public safety, Highland Council is advising Highland residents to ensure that all trampolines, outdoor garden furniture and outdoor Christmas decorations are securely tied down.

Storm Arwen is due to reach the Highlands today and the council is urging communities to stay safe and ensure they follow the very latest weather forecasts from the Met Office and keep up to date with Traffic Scotland's website or social media feeds.

Gale force winds of up to 80mph are expected to affect the Highlands today and over the weekend and snow is also forecast.

Storm brewing over Ruthven
Storm brewing over Ruthven

A Yellow Warning for snow has also been issued for the high ground of the Grampians, Perthshire and the Highlands for today.

"It is always advisable to drive according to the conditions and limit journeys to essential travel where possible," said Colin Howell, head of roads.

Landowners are also reminded about the danger of fallen trees and with high winds forecast this may well be an issue.

The council is encouraging landowners to check trees and vegetation near to public roads which may have been damaged.

Mr Howell warned: “Damaged trees and vegetation can cause potential hazards to road users by obstructing the passage of vehicles and pedestrians. The council is particularly concerned where weakened or damaged branches could subsequently fall on vehicles or pedestrians.”

Under Section 91 of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 the authority may serve notice on landowners requiring them to take action to remove hazardous or obstructive vegetation. In extreme cases, where there is an imminent danger to the public the council will take action and landowners will be liable for the cost.

If you are affected by falling trees communities can get advice and guidance on this matter by calling the service centre on 01349 886601.

With colder weather also forecast advice is available on the council’s website at: www.highland.gov.uk/readyforwinter on how to report flooding; Met Office forecasts; grit bin locations; Highland traffic and travel on Twitter using @HChighlandroads; Corran Ferry @CorranFerry; Service Point closures; helping vulnerable neighbours and preparing for bad weather at home.

For non-council trunk road operations follow Traffic Scotland @trafficscotland and their operators Bear North West (Scotland) @NWTrunkRoads on Twitter.

Useful Twitter feeds:

Weather: www.twitter.com/MetofficeScot

Flooding: www.twitter.com/ScottishEPA

Travel advice: www.twitter.com/policescotland and www.twitter.com/NorthernPolice

Traffic: www.twitter.com/trafficscotland

Preparing for severe weather: www.twitter.com/readyscotland

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