Gale force winds batter St Andrews

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GALE-force winds battered St Andrews at the start of the week as the north east Fife coast was hit by hurricane force conditions.

The winds, recorded at over 70 mph in some places, were strong enough to uproot trees and knock over bins throughout the town centre.

A parked car was damaged by a falling tree on South Street on Monday afternoon although nobody was injured.

Fife Police have confirmed that trees were also reported to have come down in Buchanan Gardens and Double Dykes road as well as along the A91, making driving conditions hazardous.

At one stage on Monday afternoon, ScotRail were forced to suspend almost all their services across the country and drivers were also effected when the Forth and Tay road bridges had to be closed.

The C45 and C65 roads were closed briefly on Monday as was the A915 and the B939 due to falling trees. Council staff worked through the night to clear up the debris and ensure all the roads were cleared and open on Tuesday morning.

The worst of the high winds passed by late on Monday night but council personnel were still out clearing up the last of the damage on Tuesday afternoon. Estates staff from St Andrews University were also busy removing debris from streets in the town.

Members of the public were praised for their vigilance during the storm by Fife Police.

Inspector David Russell told the Citizen: “The majority of calls concerned fallen trees blocking roads where fortunately there were no reports of serious or life threatening injuries.

“Police officers worked in tandem with Fife fire and rescue service where appropriate.

‘‘Fife Council worked tirelessly throughout the day and into the night returning the roads network to normal and attending to areas where there was a potential threat owing to partially fallen trees and such like.

“The public were vigilant. At the height of the storm, the contact centre experienced an increase in the volume of calls - up over 500 to 1758 - compared to the same period last week.’’