On storm alert!

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THE Forfar and Kirriemuir areas were put on storm alert on Monday as the tail end of Hurricane Katia threatened to cause travel chaos, writes Janet Thomson.

As all eyes were cast over the Atlantic tracking the hurricane’s journey to Scotland, Tayside Police issued a timely stormy weather warning in an attempt to minimise any damage.

At the time of going to press yesterday (Tuesday) Angus Council reported there were no major issues caused by the gales which struck from Monday lunch-time and lasted into the early evening.

Just after 2 pm on Monday Tayside Police urged the public, drivers in particular, to take the utmost caution as Scotland was exposed to gale-force winds.

The Met Office issued an Amber Alert for winds affecting many parts of Scotland, including Tayside. The winds on Monday were expected to reach speeds of 60-70 mph in parts of the region, or 80 mph in exposed areas. Heavy rain was also expected.

In its warning, the Met advised the remains of Hurricane Katia would move eastwards across northern Scotland during Monday, bringing a spell of very windy weather to the UK and heavy rain to western Scotland.

In Tayside, it was forecast that the southern and western most areas would experience the worst of Katia, although all parts of the region were likely to see storm-force gales. In addition, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) issued a flood alert for parts of the region.

In their statement on Monday, Tayside Police said: “Clearly, there is a risk of disruption should storm force winds hit parts of Tayside. However Tayside Police, along with the other emergency services, the three local authorities and other partner agencies are ready to deal with any incident and minimise any disruption.

“In May, the emergency services, along with local authorities and other partner agencies, received hundreds of calls mainly in relation to trees being toppled in Angus, Dundee and Perth and Kinross, many of which fell across carriageways, leading to temporary blockages on the roads networks. Power lines were also affected.

“With many trees still in full leaf, the risks of them being damaged or even uprooted by high whipping winds remain. Drivers and anyone else who is out of doors is urged to be aware of the dangers. In storm-force conditions, drivers should reduce their speed and be aware of the weather and gusting winds at all times, as well as the environment around them.”