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Storm Kathleen: CalMac ferry sailings cancelled and Sepa flood alerts in place for Wester Ross, Sutherland and Caithness

By Philip Murray

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CalMac ferry sailings have been disrupted.
CalMac ferry sailings have been disrupted.

Storm Kathleen has begun to impact the Highlands, with CalMac sailings out of Ross-shire cancelled and a number of flood warnings and alerts in place.

CalMac has warned passengers that only the 7am Stornoway to Ullapool ferry sailing will take place on Saturday, with "all remaining sailings on this route today cancelled due to adverse weather".

They added: "This is in relation to strong winds in excess of 46mph."

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And they warned people looking to travel across the Minch on Sunday that there is a "high chance of disruption or cancellation" to those sailings too due to Kathleen’s forecast strong winds. Sunday's services were all showing as sailing at the time of writing, but CalMac was warning the public to keep up-to-date on the latest travel updates and to check before heading off to catch their ferry.

"We’ll keep customers informed should there be any further changes in connection to this route," continued CalMac. "If you’ve not already done so, download our app or follow our Twitter @CalMac_Updates so we can provide you with timely updates, with the latest information we have available.

"Alternatively, you can also sign up to our service status text updates."

Meanwhile, alerts have been issued for Wester Ross, Sutherland and Caithness for Sunday, with the forecast strong winds increasing the risk of coastal flooding.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency said: "On Sunday there is a risk of coastal flooding around times of high water. due to a combination of high tides, surge and waves.

"Significant impacts are possible including flooding of roads, properties and parts of communities, disruption to travel and infrastructure and possible danger to life due to wave overtopping. Spray and wave overtopping and localised flooding of land and roads are also possible on Saturday.

"Remain vigilant and remember, it is your responsibility to take actions which help protect yourself and your property.

"Advice and information is also available through Floodline on 0345 9881188. This flood alert is now in force until further notice and was sent by phone and SMS free of charge to registered customers of our Floodline direct warning service

" If you haven't already signed up to receive free flood messages, please call Floodline or register online at sepa.org.uk/floodingsignup."

Elsewhere, transport networks were running mostly as normal in the north on Saturday morning.

No major train cancellations due to the weather were being reported. although the 6.47am Kingussie to Inverness train was cancelled due to a shortage of crew.

Roads were also open, although persistent overnight rains meant standing water was an issue, and drivers should take added care.

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