Thousands without power in Scotland as Storm Ali clean-up starts

Workmen clear trees in Marlborough Avenue brought down  by Storm Ali, which saw winds of up to 100mph. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Workmen clear trees in Marlborough Avenue brought down by Storm Ali, which saw winds of up to 100mph. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
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Thousands of people remained without power yesterday as clear-up operations continued in the wake of Storm Ali.

Rail services were also still disrupted following the storm which swept Scotland on Wednesday, with winds of more than 100mph.

Engineers worked through the night to clear debris from railway lines and repair power lines.

A primary school pupil was recovering after he was injured when a branch flew off a tree during the storm.

The child was struck while in the playground of Trinity Primary in Edinburgh for lunch break on Wednesday.

A cordon was put in place around the tree following the injury to the P2 pupil, who was taken to hospital in Edinburgh where his injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.

Other children at the school were yesterday being kept inside during break times, Edinburgh City Council said.

Yesterday morning, 5,000 Scottish Power customers remained without electricity, down from 10,000 overnight, with Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders worst affected.

Scottish Power said that 600 engineers were working to reconnect customers and hopes to restore power to all of them by the end of the day.

The company said the storm has caused a lot of damage because the trees which have come down are still in full leaf.

SSE said 750 customers were without power yesterday following the storm, and it has reconnected 24,750 customers in total.

On the railways, some passengers were facing disruption but services were returning to normal.

ScotRail posted photos of trains with broken windows and other damage on Twitter and wrote: “We know some services are very busy this morning with fewer carriages. #StormAli has battered our trains and some need to be repaired before we can bring them back into service.

“Our depot teams will do this as quickly as possible. Thanks for your patience.”

The company said that customers with unused tickets for Wednesday were able to use their tickets for travel yesterday.

A ScotRail Alliance spokesman said: “We are really sorry to customers for the disruption that has been caused by Storm Ali. We are continuing to work flat out to keep people moving and our advice to customers is to check your journey before you travel.”

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “In the course of yesterday it was clear that the rail network in particular bore the brunt of the impact of the storm, which resulted in widespread disruption.

“A considerable amount of work has gone on over the course of the night to try and get the rail network back up to speed. Network Rail staff have been out trying to repair the damage that has been caused to overhead power lines, to clear the debris - from trees through to trampolines - off the lines, to get the trains back running again.

“And by and large, most of the services are back operating at a normal level, but it will take the rest of the day to get it back up to 100 per cent again.”

Scotland is expected to escape the second named storm of the season, Storm Bronagh, which was to develop across parts of Wales and south-west England last night before spreading further eastwards across England. The storm is expected to bring gale force winds today, with wind gusts of 45-50mph predicted around exposed coasts and at some spots inland, as well as the possibility of some gusts of up to 65mph.