Red alert for wind leads to early closure of schools in Scottish Borders

SCHOOLS across the Borders are closing at lunchtime today following a major storm alert issued by the Met Office, writes Bob Burgess.

Education bosses at Scottish Borders Council took the decision yesterday after weather experts predicted winds gusting to 90mph across southern and central Scotland.

The predicted storm saw the Met Office issue a red warning and say the storm winds are expected to peak between 3pm and 6pm.

A red warning is the highest that can be issued and is rare for wind danger – it is more likely to be issued for snow and ice.

Parents were told in text messages last night of today’s early closures. A spokesman for Scottish Borders Council commented: “The decision was made following information from police, our transport providers and the Met Office.”

Storm winds and the threat of flooding is expected to lead to disruption on the roads and the council said motoring conditions are likely to be extremely poor.

The public and the farming community is also being warned to be aware of the threat to properties and the danger of falling trees.

Council chief executive Tracey Logan said: “We strongly urge members of the public to take precautionary measures to prepare for the very high winds and potential flooding which we are expecting.

“A red warning for wind has never been issued for the Borders area and with gusts of up to 90mph expected. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and ensure all essential services are maintained.”

The council’s emergency winter control room at Newtown St Boswells is now operational.

• Before travelling, drivers should check the Traffic Scotland website http://trafficscotland.org/ for up to date information.

• Information is available from www.scotborders.gov.uk <http://www.scotborders.gov.uk/> . We will also issue regular updates via Twitter @scotborders.

Information is available from www.scotborders.gov.uk <http://www.scotborders.gov.uk with regular updates via Twitter @scotborders.