UK: Snow ploughs in action after sandstorms in Scotland – 170413 1540z

Sandstorms have affected towns and roads along the north-east and Moray coasts. There have been reports of sandstorms in places including Fraserburgh, Forres, Banff and Elgin.

(Above video credit: Marek Laszczka)

(Video credit: whytewitch59632)

(Video credit: helen1434)
Erika Cartney, who works at the Tesco store in Fraserburgh which was hit by the sandstorm, said: “I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s like fog but it’s sand. “It’s still going on but on the other side of town it’s a beautiful sunny day. I had to pull my hood up and cover my eyes – it’s really gritty and was getting in my mouth. “It’s just getting everywhere. It’s just like thick fog. I’ve never seen anything like that before in Fraserburgh.”
Police Scotland are warning motorists to take care in the conditions. A spokesman said: “High winds causing sand storms in the area, several roads being affected by sand. Visibility very poor in places. Some routes also affected by fallen trees.”

The force is also advising motorists to avoid the A941 Elgin-Rothes road. He added: “High winds have caused zero visibility due to sand which has blown across road. The recommended diversion is via B9103 and B9015.” Flights were also delayed at Inverness airport due to the conditions. The Met Office currently has a yellow weather warning in place across Grampian for high winds. STV weatherman Sean Batty said: “After an exceptionally dry March, and for some areas the driest March on record, the soil has dried out on the farmlands and along with today’s winds this has allowed this to become airborne. “This has given us the blowing dust which has been reported at many Moray weather stations as well as at Inverness airport on Tuesday.
Tuesday, 16 April, 2013 at 16:54 (04:54 PM) UTC RSOE

News Reports

“Snow ploughs have been brought in to tackle the aftermath of sandstorms that hit the north-east and Moray coasts.

Moray Council said the clean-up operation could take several weeks and the local authority has dispatched its winter maintenance crews to clear sand drifts from some roads.

A spokesman for the local authority said a few routes had been closed by the conditions including the A941 Elgin-Rothes road was blocked at Fogwatt but has since reopened and the Mosstodloch-Garmouth road.

Among roads still currently closed are the Wester Alves road between Coltfield crossroads and the B9089 and the eastern end of the Auchtertyre road.

He said “thousands of tons of soil were blown off farmers’ fields by two days of gale force winds which also brought down about 20 trees.

He added: Our winter maintenance fleet is out including ploughs and diggers. There are a few three to four roads still closed and being worked on. We would hope to have those roads open today.

Main roads were also being given priority by crews and that some minor roads which had been affected were still open but had narrowed in places.

He said: It could be several weeks before the clean-up operation is complete. Some roads are passable with care.

“The rain forecast for later this morning could add to the difficulties because drainage gullies may be blocked and result in flooding. Wet, compacted sand is also more difficult to shift and may require to be dug out by excavators.

“Some roads are likely to be affected by sand for some time to come and we would urge motorists to take extra care.” – STV


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