Weather: Storm batters Berwickshire

Waves crash inot the harbour walls at Eyemouth. Picture by Kimberley Powell
Waves crash inot the harbour walls at Eyemouth. Picture by Kimberley Powell
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Eyemouth Harbour has burst it banks with water pouring in to nearby buildings.

The town had been braced for a tidal surge this afternoon. But the harbour has burst its banks with an hour of high tide still to go.

Eddie Bryce of the Contented Soul bar and restaurant on Harbour Road, said: “The harbour has burst it’s banks. It’s like a disaster area down here and there’s still an hour of high tide to go.

“I was supposed to be going to Dunbar tonight but there’s water pouring into the pub so I won’t.

“I think it’s going to be chaos.”

The gale-force winds battering the whole country have caused serious disruption to travel in Berwickshire. About 5,000 Borders properties have lost power and a number of schools have closed.

An amber weather warning remains in place until 4pm today. Snow has also started to fall, but winds are still expected to ease during the afternoon.

At lunch time waves crashed over the harbour wall in Eyemouth and barriers were put up to stop the public from accessing The Bantry.

There is a medium coastal flood risk at Eyemouth during high tide at 4pm, and again at 4am tomorrow, with a medium likelihood of significant disruption from coastal flooding.

Scottish Borders Council is putting in place arrangements to ensure members of the public are warned about this risk and to manage the incident in that area this afternoon.

There are no East Coast trains running between Edinburgh and Newcastle due to the high winds.

Police Scotland is advising motorists travel with care. A previous warning, advising people not to travel, has now been lifted although there is still a risk of disruption on the roads due to fallen trees, branches and flooding.

Freezing conditions are forecast from 2pm today and care should be taken by motorists on the roads this evening.

Scottish Borders Council’s (SBC) emergency planning officer, Jim Fraser said: “We had a challenging and busy period from 7.30am through until 11am. We had reports of around 100 trees that had fallen due to the strong winds, which caused disruption to travel.

“Two school buses were involved in collisions with fallen trees, en route to Kelso and Peebles High Schools, but thankfully no injuries were reported. A van was also blown over on the A68 near Lauder and a road sign came down on the same road near the Ravenswood roundabout.

“Around 5,000 properties are currently without power in various parts of the region and some of our schools didn’t open today as a result of these power issues.

“Scottish Borders Council (SBC) and partners, including Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, the Met Office and SEPA have been in close contact since the Amber weather warning was put in place yesterday and we continue to liaise closely to make sure the region is coping with the challenges that arise due to these weather conditions.”

Power issues, caused by the strong winds, have resulted in some school closures. Earlston High School, as well as Greenlaw, Fountainhall, Heriot, Stow, Yarrow and Walkerburn Primary Schools are shut today. They will reopen tomorrow if power is restored. Parents will be kept informed through the ‘groupcall’ system. Swinton Primary is also closed today due to access issues.

Residents are being encouraged to check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours, friends and relatives, particularly in areas affected by power cuts.

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