Storm Darcy brought a whiteout to Tayside and Fife as blizzard conditions and heavy snow wreaked havoc on the roads.
Blizzards forced the closure of hundreds of schools and resulted in a number of avalanches on high ground on Tuesday.
The endless wintry showers left the likes of Dundee and Perth buried under huge drifts of snow, bringing gridlock and crashes.
Heavy snowfall of up to 10in left many roads impassable with motorists attempting to brave the conditions later forced to abandon vehicles.
Storm conditions also resulted in scores of accidents and breakdowns across Dundee, Fife, Angus and Perthshire with vehicles becoming stranded.
Staff at Covid-19 vaccination centres in the area had battled on in their fight against the deadly virus, but were forced to stand down due to the weather.
Increased levels of snowfall on higher ground brought reports of a number of avalanches in the Ochils as well as the Lomond Hills area in Fife.
Ochils Mountain Rescue warned walkers not to venture out following reports of dangerous conditions.
At Bishop Hill on West Lomond Hill, farmers reported significant snow shifts following heavy snowfall in the area in the past 48 hours.
Posting on social media, a spokesperson for Ochils Mountain Rescue Team said debris from two avalanches – one at West Lomond and also at A823 road through Glen Devon – had been observed.
They added: “On both occasions, the avalanches have occurred on slopes that have had large amounts of snow dropped onto them by the wind; in these cases west-facing slopes, due to the recent easterly winds.
“The trigger has probably been a cornice, an overhang of snow, that has collapsed as the temperature has increased in the last day or two.
“Our advice is to avoid steep, snow-loaded slopes.
“A slope angle of 30-45 degrees is most associated with avalanches, though it is possible on less steep ground too. Avoid going anywhere near a slope with a cornice at the top of it.”
Roads chaos endures all day
Dundee city centre was hit by gridlock and two major bridges were forced to partially close because of the severe conditions on Tuesday morning.
Motorists were stuck in long tailbacks after police closed the approach to Friarton Bridge shortly 6am on Tuesday, to allow for barrier repairs following a collision between two HGVs. Nobody was injured in the incident.
Heavy #snow showers are bringing travel disruption to the Dundee area with an Amber snow warning in effect ❄️
Latest warning info 👉 https://t.co/QwDLMfRBfs
The snow showers are expected to slowly ease later this evening and overnight
— Met Office (@metoffice) February 9, 2021
Only a few miles away, a van was later flipped onto its side on the snowy Carse of Gowrie carriageway.
A police spokesperson said: “At around 5.15pm on Tuesday, police were called to a report of a van on its side after coming off the A90 northbound at Kinfauns.
“There are no reports of any injuries and the vehicle will be uplifted.”
In Perth, a flatbed lorry jack-knifed on the city’s Glasgow Road, near the junction with Rose Crescent, trapping itself and two cars at around 4.30pm.
The main artery was blocked for some time and until police made their way to the scene, local residents and by-passers pushed the vehicles apart and to safety.
The situation for those attempting get in and out of Dundee was later compounded when a lorry got stuck on ramps on the southbound Tay Road Bridge, forcing a partial closure of both lanes.
The freezing conditions also saw public transport hit by delays with some routes impassable while numerous road closures also hampered services.
In Fife, a jack-knifed HGV blocked High Street in Inverkeithing.
Army personnel were called in to help recover a lorry and a bus which became stranded in heavy snow on a roundabout at Cuddyhouse Road in Cowdenbeath.
Meanwhile, the transport authorities were forced to close the normally busy Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) for a time for what they described as “adverse weather conditions”.
The bypass was shut between Stonehaven and Cleanhill due to heavy snowfall – with the A90 northbound from the Mearns town also left impassable to vehicles.
It was eventually reopened after snowploughs and gritters worked to make the route driveable.
Ultimately, after a string of singular cancellations, Stagecoach stopped running all services in Perth, Dundee and Angus.
All Perth services are suspended
— Stagecoach East Scotland (@StagecoachEScot) February 9, 2021
A jack-knifed lorry on the A90 Dundee to Perth road at Longforgan caused tailbacks on Tuesday from 4.45pm until about 7pm.
Pleasance Road and Precinct Street in Coupar Angus remain shut off, as is the A93 Braemar to Perth route at Glenshee and the C446 between Alyth and Blackwater due to blizzard conditions.
Staff at the region’s snowsports centres said Storm Darcy had brought the best conditions in years while remaining closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Glenshee Ski Centre workers grafted throughout the day to clear the approach road to the site.
A low of -16.7C was recorded at Altnaharra from Monday into Tuesday, making it the UK’s coldest night since December 2010
An amber Met Office warning for snow was in place from 3am until 9pm
The effects of Storm Darcy also forced council authorities to close hundreds of schools normally open to support the children of key workers as well as children requiring additional educational support.
In Fife more than 100 of the region’s nursery, primary, high schools had to be closed due to the lack of staff unable to reach school facilities because of the snow.
Meanwhile, Angus Council closed 18 of its schools worst affected by the winter conditions while several firms also cancelled school bus services including Redline Coaches, Short Travel, Rowan Travel, Scot Blue, J P Minicoaches and Fishers Tours, because of the adverse weather.
Recycling centres in Arbroath, Forfar, Kirriemuir, Carnoustie and Monifieth were also closed throughout the day.
However, for many, the snow meant nothing more than a chance to get out and enjoy a spot of sledging on local high ground or youngsters the opportunity to build a snowman or two.
Despite the difficult conditions, health boards managed to keep Covid-19 vaccinations open in a bid to maintain the roll-out of the vaccine to the elderly and most vulnerable groups.
Greatly reduced numbers of those booked to receive the vaccine meant no repeat of the chaotic scenes experienced at vaccine centres just 24 hours before, where hundreds for elderly people were left to queue outside for hours in as temperatures plummeted.
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