Storm Dylan hits ahead of Hogmanay celebrations


Preparations are continuing for Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh despite the arrival of Storm Dylan.

Police said weather-related debris had resulted in the temporary closure of Princes Street to pedestrians, with access to Waverley Station affected.

A yellow warning for high winds remains in place across much of Scotland after gusts in excess of 70mph were recorded.

Up to 150,000 people are expected in the Scottish capital for Hogmanay, with proceedings kicking off at 19:00.

Princes Street was temporarily shut by police to pedestrians between North Bridge and Waverley Bridge.

It is understood parts of a stage were blown over in the strong winds.

The closure included the Princes Street entrance to and from the main train station, Waverley.

Scottish Power said the high winds had caused substantial damage to their network with power outages affecting customers in Bathgate, West Lothian, and in Carluke, Larkhall and Kilsyth in Lanarkshire as well as in Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute.

The Met Office said a gust of wind measuring 76mph was recorded at Port Ellen on Islay.

A yellow warning for wind across the southern half of Scotland, including, Strathclyde, Central, Tayside, Lothian, Fife and south west Scotland, is expected to remain in place until 15:00.

The storm has caused disruption to the travel network with ferry services from Oban, Tarbert and Lismore affected. Rail services between Edinburgh, Helensburgh and Glasgow Central and Largs were also disrupted for a time.

On the roads, there were restrictions on the Erskine Bridge, Forth Road Bridge, Tay Road Bridge and the Friarton Bridge.

The Queensferry Crossing had a high winds warning in place with a 40mph speed limit.

On the A720 Edinburgh city bypass, a fallen tree blocked part of the carriageway at Calder Junction, while fire crews in Dunblane were called out to remove a tree on the B824 Hill of Row road.

'Dropping down'

Sepa warned of the risk of flooding in the south west, with flood warnings issued for a time on the South West Rhins, Fleet Bay, Kirkcudbright Bay, Rough Firth, Southerness Point, Upper Solway Firth and East Luce Bay.

In Stirling, organisers of the Hogmanay fireworks display at the Castle esplanade said the conditions were "providing some challenges", but that plans were going ahead as normal.

Despite the disruption, Storm Dylan is expected to subside across Scotland by late Sunday afternoon, before the main Hogmanay celebrations begin.

Ed Bartlam from Underbelly, organisers of the events in Edinburgh, told the BBC that things were scheduled to go ahead as planned.

"It's pretty windy here this morning, but there are specific forecasts that we get from the Met Office about Hogmanay and they are showing that there is a dropping down this afternoon.

"We're really looking forward to our 7 o'clock kick-off and the biggest street party at new year in the world."

Edinburgh's Hogmanay festival began on Saturday evening with a torchlight procession, which also marked the start of Scotland's Year of Young People.

Nearly 20,000 people, including 17,000 torchbearers, took part in the procession down the Royal Mile, past Holyrood Palace and the Scottish Parliament.

Thirty Vikings from Shetland's Up Helly Aa Festival were among those taking part, along with young people performing with the massed pipes and drums and people samba drumming.

Edinburgh's three-day Hogmanay festival includes the Street Party and Concert in the Gardens on New Year's Eve and the Loony Dook in South Queensferry on 1 January.

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