Winter shows it’s not over yet

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The beast from the east arrived in Berwickshire as expected this week and brought the area to a virtual standstill.

Schools and colleges were closed and bus services suspended on Wednesday, February 28, and the police, Scottish Government and local council were warning people not to go out unless it was absolutely necessary.

The decision to close all Borders schools on Wednesday and Thursday was taken on Tuesday after the Met Office issued an amber weather warning for the Scottish Borders from 6am on Wednesday to 6pm on Thursday.

Tracey Logan, chief executive of Scottish Borders Council, said: “As a result of the forecast and on the advice of partners we have taken the decision to close schools on Wednesday. It is highly likely that schools will also be closed on Thursday and we will do all we can to provide support for senior pupils who are working towards exams.

“We would ask residents to make sure they are fully ready for the winter weather, and should keep up to date with the latest information by signing up for SB Alert, listening to local radio and checking SBC’s website and Facebook and Twitter pages.

“Due to the prolonged adverse weather, people are also asked to check on elderly or vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours, assisting wherever possible.”

Scottish Borders Council’s Emergency Planning Centre opened at 5am on Wednesday to manage responses to the weather conditions, alongside partners including Police Scotland.

On Wednesday morning SBC reported: “Weather conditions are deteriorating and we have been advised that many rural and exposed routes are impassable. Our winter maintenance team are currently treating priority routes. You are urged not to travel.”

Winter maintenance operations will focus on keeping main routes open where possible. However, Scottish Borders Council warns that due to the heavy snowfall it is highly likely that minor routes and many footpaths will not be cleared or treated until Friday at the earliest.

Chief Inspector Andy McLean, Police Scotland’s Local Area Commander for the Lothians and Borders, said: “People should only travel if absolutely essential, and should make sure that they are fully prepared for the conditions they may face, including having sufficient fuel and supplies such as warm clothing, food and water.”

Anyone able to provide care for family or friends during the severe weather this week is asked to contact the client’s care provider directly, or failing that SB Cares on 01896 662701.