Flood warnings: Portobello, Musselburgh, Prestonpans, Cockenzie and Port Seton, Dunbar and West Barns| Rail services resume.
HUGE gales whipped the Capital today, causing disruption to the transport network and temporarily closing the Forth Road Bridge to all vehicles.
Overnight, winds of up to 80mph toppled trees, flooded carriageways, and forced the cancellation of all train services.
A fallen tree partially blocked Old Dalkeith Road near Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for a while, but it was later removed by the city roads department.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service East Delivery area has responded to 63 incidents this morning from 7am to 10am.
Five of these incidents were road traffic collisions, two were trees on vehicles and 12 for dangerous structures.
A flood warning has been issued for Portobello Esplanade. High tide level on Friday morning combined with the weather conditions means flooding is possible from the sea.
Network Rail has now re-opened rail lines from Edinburgh to both Glasgow Queen Street and Dunbar, with ScotRail services starting on both routes from 1.30pm.
ScotRail said there would be a “gradual phased reintroduction” of more routes as other parts of the network were given the green light.
East Coast expects to operate its normal timetable tomorrow, with the exception of two services which will start at Edinburgh and Doncaster instead of Inverness and Hull.
• Flood warnings issued for Portobello Esplanade, Musselburgh,
Prestonpans, Cockenzie & Port Seton, and Dunbar including West Barns.
• St Mary’s Primary School on East London Street is closing due to roof damage. Parents are asked to collect their children from the West entrance
• The roof of JJB Sports at Straiton Retail Park near Edinburgh blown off in the high winds
• A falling tree has struck a car in Quality Street, Davidson’s Mains
• A tree has came down on Burnshot Road, at the bottom of Standingstane Road, blocking the entire road
At around 6am, Forth Road Bridge operators closed the crossing to vans and high sided vehicles as wind speeds reaching 78mph. It was closed altogether at around 8.15am after gusts of 86mph.
Network Rail despatched hundreds of engineers across the network to react to problems and clear any fallen trees.
There were reports of deep surface water at Cramond Brig on the A90 and Blackhall Road, with traffic along some trunk routes reduced to a crawl.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has issued flood warnings for coastal areas of Musselburgh as well as Prestonpans, Cockenzie and Port Seton in East Lothian.
The city council has warned to beware of wheelie bins which may have been blown into main roads. The Met Office issued amber wind warnings.
Chief Superintendent Iain Murray, head of road policing, added: “The weather in Scotland can change very quickly and it’s vital drivers are prepared. In recent years we have seen high winds, blizzards, snow and freezing conditions. The next few days is expected to bring with it some strong winds and severe cold weather and I would advise motorists to take care. Allow extra time for your journey and keep a few emergency supplies, such as water and food in your vehicle to cover any eventualities.”
Martin Thomson, winter resilience manager for Transport Scotland, said: “Transport Scotland is working closely with transport operators, the Met office and Police Scotland to make sure that the most useful and up to date information is given to those who need it most.”
Marc Becker, hydrology duty manager for SEPA, said: “A combination of high tides and storm surge will result in a risk of flooding in some coastal communities along the Firth of Forth, Fife, East Lothian and Scottish Borders coast during this afternoon.”
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “I would urge the travelling public to consider the conditions before they set off. Indications are that bridges across the country will be affected by the strong winds and closures are expected during the morning peak period.”