Storm Ali packs a punch to wreak havoc on Arran

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By Colin Smeeton

Arran took a battering from Storm Ali on Wednesday causing widespread disruption, causing roof damage, blowing down a number of trees and leading to power cuts and shops and businesses closing early.

The winds, which were gusting at up to 80mph, also disrupted travel as all ferries to Ardrossan and Arran were cancelled for the day as was the Lochranza sailings. Indeed all 28 routes across the entire CalMac network in Scotland experienced disruption or cancellations, and the few that did sail were placed on amber alert and were liable to cancellation at short notice.

Residents from villages in Whiting Bay, Shiskine, Lamlash and Corrie reported trees being blown over with many of blocking roads and off-road tracks. Across the island  North Ayrshire Council workers were kept busy clearing fallen trees with chainsaws and removing debris from the roads.

The Rodden Road in Shiskine was also completely blocked with five trees, which used to line the road, laying across it with a huge root system and surrounding soil exposed.

Brodick Country Park was closed owing to the high winds and concerns about the number of mature trees, many of them still in full foliage, that could potentially be brought down. A number of big branches which had come down could be seen from the road, but a full assessment was still being carried out.

The ArCaS charity shop, Bubbles car wash and a number of small businesses closed for the day owing to the storm.

Kildonan and Whiting Bay experienced power failures while throughout the island lights dimmed and flickered occasionally but for the majority did not go out completely.

The western side of the island did not go unscathed with large waves battering Blackwaterfoot and spraying the nearby buildings with sea foam whipped up by the fierce seas.

Torrential rain bucketed down on a few occasions but it was not sustained and there were even periods of brightness with sunshine punctuating the gusting winds.

Storm Ali, the first autumn storm of the season, was felt across central and southern Scotland with Northern Ireland most badly affected and where 55,000 homes were left without power and many public facilities closed.

The high winds and rain continued through the day and eased off into the evening and by Thursday morning all that remained of it was the evidence of broken branches and leaves littered on the ground.

Five large trees blocked the Rodden Road after a huge clump of with their root system was toppled. 01_B38storm01

Workmen use chainsaws and electric blowers to clear the road in Shiskine. 01_B38storm02

Many roads were reduced to single file traffic owing to downed trees and debris which obstructed the roads. 01_B38storm03