After enduring hurricane-force winds on Friday Moray’s coastal communities were spared a predicted flood deluge by a change in wind direction.
SEPA issued a flood warning for villages and towns facing the Moray Firth with an exceptionally high tide hours after the major storm that caused chaos to travel throughout the region.
However, while driving along some coastal routes proved difficult around Friday’s 3pm high tide there was no major flooding – although warnings remained in force overnight and into the weekend.
While there was some flooding at Kingston and Garmouth it was not as serious as had been feared – but SEPA was making it clear that communities had to remain vigilant, a spokesman saying: “The very unsettled weather and strong winds over the weekend and into the early part of next week could cause some large waves and a tidal surge along the Moray coast.”
The spokesman added that the public should remain vigilant, saying that it was their responsibility to take action that would protect themselves and their property.
While almost all schools in the Highlands were closed in the face of the storm that blocked roads and brought railway services to a standstill, only four primary schools in Moray turned away pupils on Friday.
Extra staff and resources had been deployed by councils, network rail and power companies ahead of the storm that had been predicted throughout the week. The aftermath of the storm is still expected to cause problems into the weekend with Transport Minister Derek Mackay saying: “The public should continue to stay aware while weather warnings are in place.
“They should travel with caution and check the information sources to ensure that people are fully aware of what’s operational and give extra time to transport arrangements – particularly if people are driving.
“We will do everything we can to get people moving again.”
This morning Scotrail were reporting that cancellation of services between Aberdeen and Inverness would continue today through until midnight.
Weather warnings remain in effect for Moray, with the Met Office saying: “Another very vigorous depression is likely to run quickly eastwards, passing to the north of Scotland on Saturday.”
Yellow alerts are in place for wind, snow and ice for Saturday and Sunday.
The weather will not, however, halt the traditional new year ‘Burning of the Clavie’ in Burghead today, with organisers insisting that it will go ahead as planned. A spokesman said that the weather predications for the day did not look too good – but it would not be allowed to disrupt their plans.