Firefighters deal with havoc caused by Storm Gertrude

Firefighters across Scotland worked flat out this morning to protect families, motorists and homes as Storm Gertrude pummelled the country.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 29th January 2016, 3:09 pm
Updated Friday, 29th January 2016, 3:12 pm
Many areas were affected by flooding during the stormy weather. (Picture by Scott Louden)
Many areas were affected by flooding during the stormy weather. (Picture by Scott Louden)

And Assistant Chief Officer Lewis Ramsay, director of response and resilience, said Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) crews would continue to help wherever needed.

He said: “Our crews are here to respond to the needs of our local communities and provide the highest level of emergency response.

“Firefighters have been working with partner agencies to resolve incidents as quickly as possible and are fully committed to protect our communities and work to ensure their safety during this period of difficult weather. We will continue to respond wherever we are needed.

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Storm Gertrude caused damage across the country (Picture by John Devlin).

“In this type of weather I would urge people to follow advice issued by Floodline Scotland, our Police Scotland colleagues and by Transport Scotland, which will help them stay safe and also avoid running into difficulty on the roads.”

There were numerous incidents throughout the morning.

After receiving an alarm just after 7am, firefighters evacuated two families in Hillend Crescent, in the Duntocher area of Clydebank, near Glasgow, after scaffolding came through the roof in the heavy winds. The area was cordoned off by police and local authority building control was contacted to ensure the property was stable.

Another family had to be evacuated from a house in Wishaw Road, in the Waterloo area of Wishaw, Lanarkshire. SFRS was alerted at 08.51am that a 50ft tree was threatening to damage the property. A crew from Carluke was mobilised as an aerial rescue team set off from Motherwell to assess the situation.

Storm Gertrude caused damage across the country (Picture by John Devlin).

In the north, two teams from Huntly in Aberdeenshire raced to the A96 after receiving an alert at 7.25am of a lorry which had blown over onto a car. The people in the car managed to get themselves clear but the lorry driver had to be freed by firefighters. The occupants of both vehicles suffered a variety of injuries, but none are believed to be life threatening.

At 7.26am, firefighters were told that a curtain-sided lorry had blown over on the A90 between Glamis and Forfar. The driver had managed to get out before they arrived but firefighters made sure the scene was safe.

The Kirriemuir crew was then called to attend an incident in Roebeck, Glamis. A corrugated sheet had been blown off by the wind and was left hanging over a road. Firefighters secured the sheet and made that area safe.

They also removed a loose chimney and masonry at 7.54am in Princes Street, Dundee.

Firefighters were then called to the St Andrews Parish Church in Atholl Street, Perth, at 8.19am to remove a broken window pane which was hanging over on to the street.

A poly-tunnel which had taken off in the wind from the Douglas Community Centre in Balmoral Place, Dundee, was also grabbed by a crew at 8.19am.

The Brechin team was called out to the town’s Dalls Lane where the doors of a garage have been blown off by the wind.

In the east, the Dunfermline team worked through the difficult weather conditions to reposition a caravan that had blown over in Rosyth, Fife.

Firefighters in Edinburgh secured a roof in the city’s Northfield Farm Avenue – after half of it was blown off in the heavy gusts.

And at junction 10 on M9 Craigforth-Bannockburn, skilled firefighters used a saw to free a driver who was trapped in an overturned HGV. Working in challenging conditions, they safely freed the driver.

The Highlands and Islands were also battered by the storm.

At 7.48am Fortrose firefighters were warned that a tree had fallen and broken electrical cables in Fletcher Gardens, Avoch ,in the Black Isle. They immediately threw up a cordon around the area as SSE isolated the power.

And cars were being hit by flying roofing tiles in Seaforth Road, Ullapool. A local crew checked out the roof of the affected home to ensure it was water-tight as they cleared the street and made it safe for the public.

Two trees had also been blown onto separate locations within a mile stretch of road on the B9176, at Ardross and Newbridge.

And the Thurso crew secured a massive steel shed which had blown into a garden.