Edinburgh Snowed Under at St Andrew's Day

Submitted by edg on Mon, 29 Nov '10 9.50pm

Edinburgh looks like it will have one of the snowiest St Andrew's Days on record, with continuing disruption as the wintry, snowvember weather continues.

More snow is forecast, with temperatures predicted to plummet to as low as minus 10.  Edinburgh airport remains closed due to too much snow on the runway. Train and road disruption continues. Edinburgh schools and many Edinburgh City Council facilities are closed.

"We're dealing with an unprecedented situation here: more snow has fallen in the last 72 hours or so than we had in Edinburgh over the span of a few weeks last winter,” said Councillor Robert Aldridge, Environment Leader.

The council's snow clearing fleet of 30 road gritters, 12 mini-tractors, 4 loading shovels and 10 other vehicles have been working round the clock since Friday evening to clear the city's main roads as the snowfall has continued to dump down.

All Council schools in Edinburgh were closed today and will remain closed tomorrow (30 November) due to the ongoing severe weather conditions.

People had fun in the park (although West Princes Street Garden was locked), and webcam viewers flocked online to watch Edinburgh Zoo's penguins totter around in the snow, but ironically, too much of the white stuff has continued to impact Edinburgh's Christmas celebrations. Tomorrow's St Andrew's Day celebrations in St Andrew Square have been cancelled.

Organisers said the snow damaged two of the marquees, creating a potential public safety issue, and with the extreme weather set to continue, all events, including Tuesday evening’s Ceilidh Finale, have been cancelled.

Edinburgh Airport opens then closes

Around 4.30pm Edinburgh Airport announced it was “partially open”. However, having opened, at 6pm Edinburgh airport then reported that it was closing again.

"Unfortunately we're having to close the runway again as more snow has arrived. A few planes left, but we're focusing on tomorrow now," it tweeted. (Update: Edinburgh airport re-opened at noon, 30 November).

Met Office Report

The Met Office severe weather warning for 8pm tonight to 11am tomorrow states:

“Snow showers will become fewer and lighter overnight and on Tuesday morning. However icy stretches will form on untreated surfaces. The public are advised to take extra care and refer to Traffic Scotland for further advice on road conditions.”

Council Facilitiy Closures

Seventy five roads staff are working, and additional staff have been mobilised from other duties such as street cleaning and parks. These additional staff are working to clear footpaths, particularly in shopping areas and sheltered housing schemes. The council said that residential grit bins will be replenished as soon as possible.

Refuse collections have been disrupted as bin lorries are unable to operate safely due to road conditions. The situation will be assessed on a day by day basis. Any bins not collected today will be collected next week.

Three short break respite units for children with additional support needs - Seaview, The Caern Project and Action for Children - are closed tonight and tomorrow night.

All adult education classes are cancelled today and tomorrow.

All Community Learning and Development centres will be closed to the public tomorrow.

All older people and disabilities day centres are closed today and tomorrow; however, if any older people need additional help then staff are arranging home visits.

All social work centres are currently open except for Oxgangs. Home care and re-ablement teams are reprioritising case loads to ensure emergency cases are covered.

Housing repairs are suspended for all but the most urgent cases. All community alarm clients are being contacted by telephone.

Mortonhall Crematorium is operating normally and staff are currently working to carry out any scheduled burials.

Some city libraries are closed.

More updates about disruptions available from the council web site and Forth FM.

Edinburgh Traffic updates on Twitter

Edinburgh Weather

Edinburgh Transport