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Prayers as Storm Gertrude wreaks havoc on UK

Fri 29 Jan 2016
By Hannah Tooley

The Episcopal Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney has told Premier he's praying Storm Gertrude doesn't get any worse as high winds and heavy rain batter parts of the UK. 

Rt Revd Bob Gillies told Premier that thousands of properties are without power, buildings have been damaged and transport disrupted.

He said: "This sort of weather isn't that uncommon in Orkney and Shetland - it tends not to get reported simply because the wind is a normal feature and a really strong wind is regular enough - this will happen two or three times through the winter."

A succession of storms since December has seen widespread flooding and major disruption to travel, with the latest front expected to continue through the weekend.

Bishop Bob continued: "The wind is a normal feature of daily life in Orkney and Shetland, in many ways the locals take a strong wind like today's in their stride - one of the people I spoke to in Shetland this morning described the conditions as a bit blustery."

Danny Lawson/PA Wire


He told Premier that a pilgrimage in the area has been affected. He said: "One consequence of all of this is that our cathedral in Aberdeen had got eight people going on a pilgrimage across the ancient pre-Christian religious sites in Orkney and onto the modern Christian ones."

A rare red Met Office alert is in place for Orkney and Shetland with dangerous conditions and winds of 100mph expected throughout Friday.

Many other regions have yellow and amber warnings for strong winds, heavy rain, snow and ice as the extreme weather continues to batter the British Isles.

Prime Minister David Cameron was caught up in the disruption on his way to Belgium for EU talks.

Speaking on BBC Good Morning Scotland, he said: "My first challenge is to get to Brussels as with hurricane Gertrude I've already had a flight problem so I'm racing across Scotland at the moment to get to Edinburgh Airport but I hope I will make it."

Danny Lawson/PA Wire


Listen to Premier's Aaron James speak to Rt Revd Bob Gillies, Episcopal Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney, here:

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