Storm Ali: 70,000 Scottish homes without power amid high winds

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More than 70,000 homes have been without power as Storm Ali continues to cause major disruption across Scotland.

Rail, roads, flights and ferry services have all been affected by the severe weather conditions on Wednesday.

ScottishPower said 58,000 homes had no electricity, while SSE said 13,000 had experienced cuts.

READ MORE: Storm Ali live: 102mph wind gusts recorded on Tay Road Bridge| Scotrail suspends all trains out of Edinburgh and Glasgow

Around 33,200 remain without a supply, with the southwest being the worst hit.

Meanwhile, emergency services were called to rescue a man who became trapped beneath a digger in a river during strong winds.

Fire fighters take care of a fallen tree at Station Road in Kelso this afternoon.

Fire fighters take care of a fallen tree at Station Road in Kelso this afternoon.

The incident happened at around 10am on Wednesday at Rogart in the Highlands.

He was taken to hospital with a suspected fractured rib.

READ MORE: Storm Ali: Edinburgh and Glasgow flights disrupted amid high winds

The Forth Road Bridge, Clackmannanshire Bridge, Queensferry Crossing have put restrictions in place, while the Tay Road Bridge is shut to all traffic having recorded winds of nearly 92mph.

Another incident saw tug boats called to the Nautica vessel which slipped its berth in Greenock.

READ MORE: Storm Ali: All trains suspended out of Edinburgh and Glasgow

Strong winds saw the cruise ship - which had 478 passengers and 26 crew - leave the dock after its mooring lines parted.

There have been no reports of injuries.

Most trains from Glasgow and Edinburgh have been suspended due to the weather, while other services throughout the country have also been affected.

The Met Office updated its amber weather warning of wind, saying there is a high likelihood of impacts across a swathe of the UK.

Flying debris is possible as the first named storm of the season sweeps through the country.

The weather alert, which is in place until 6pm on Wednesday, warns that flying debris is likely and could lead to injuries or danger to life.

There is also potential for damage to buildings, fallen trees, travel cancellations, more road closures and large waves in coastal areas.

It covers the southern half of Scotland and the north-east coast.

A less severe yellow warning for wind is in place across the whole of Scotland until Wednesday night.

The Met Office said winds of up to 80mph are expected on parts of the western coast, while inland will see gales of between 65mph and 75mph.

All vehicles and pedestrians have been stopped from using the Forth Road Bridge, while the Queensferry Crossing has been shut to high-sided vehicles and double-decker buses.

Clackmannanshire Bridge was also closed to high-sided vehicles while restrictions were put in place on the Skye Bridge due to strong gales.

At around 10am part of the A75 in Dumfries and Galloway, near the Collin bypass, was blocked for about an hour due to a fallen tree.

Dumfries and Galloway Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST) reported similar incidents had occurred across the region.

The Highland main line was shut by rail operators after a freight train was derailed during high winds.

At around 1.40am a northbound service struck tree branches and left the track near Culloden.

A spokesman said: “Specialist engineers and lifting equipment are on their way to the site and we will re-rail the engine and reopen the line as soon as possible.”

Some bus services have also been suspended, as has part of the tramline in Edinburgh, due to the weather.

A section of Princes Street and South Bridge Street in Edinburgh were closed due to debris falling from roofs in strong winds.

Part Cathedral Street in Glasgow was also closed for some time due to falling debris.

Meanwhile, South Bridge Street were shut between Chambers Street and the High Street after lead fell from the Tron Kirk at around 12.10pm.

There have been no injuries in either incident.

Morotists have been urged to be careful on the roads

North-east road policing inspector Neil Morrison said: “Conditions are very blustery at the moment and the high winds are expected to remain in our area until later this evening.

“I would urge all motorists to drive carefully and with caution, especially on country roads where potential hazards could be around corners.

“Reduce your speed and leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front.”

The newly-opened £80.1 million V&A Dundee had to close its doors to new visitors over safety fears, with people inside the building allowed to take refuge until closing time.

Historic Scotland has also announced the closure of many of its properties for Wednesday, including Edinburgh Castle.