Wintry blast takes its toll

A WEEK of what seemed like constant snowfall took its toll in the Forfar and Kirriemuir areas last week.

By Friday it was a non-stop whiteout with children enjoying an impromptu day off school - some schools closing for a second day after a shut-down on Tuesday.

Beau (left) and Mia Cruickshanks had fun in the snow at their home in Noranside on Friday.

Beau (left) and Mia Cruickshanks had fun in the snow at their home in Noranside on Friday.

Residents of Kirriemuir struggled to get out with the A928 Kirriemuir-Glamis-Petterden Road being among one of the worst affected mid-week.

On Tuesday a dozen rural primaries in the Glens and Kirriemuir area succumbed to the elements, with Webster’s High School closing at lunchtime,

After two days’ respite the snow was back with a vengeance on Friday and again schools were forced to close.

They included Aberlemno, Arbirlot, Cortachy, Eassie, Glamis, Inverarity, Isla and Tannadice, with Forfar Academy and Webster’s High School closing at 3 p.m.

Angus Council gave regular updates on schools closures, school transport details and road conditions, but the snow was relentless.

One Letham man contacted the Dispatch and Herald on Wednesday to complain about the state of the roads in and out of the village.

On Tuesday he travelled down to one of the worst affected areas in England which featured on nationwide news reports - and he said the roads down south were black.

He said: “I had to drive down to Towlay, near Durham, to attend a funeral. We had to go down the west as the A68 was blocked. They had 12 to 18 inches of snow but the biggest job I had was getting out of Letham on to the by-pass. The roads were an absolute disgrace. When we came back on Tuesday night it was the same. A snowplough drove past us at Forfar Golf Club and the blade was about four inches off the ground. Where we were down south must have had three times as much snow as we had and their roads were black. There was no slush on them, they were black. It’s just a joke here.

“In Durham they put the blade right down and grit out the back so the road is cleared and gritted. It’s a disgrace here.”

When asked about how council departments coped with the snow last week, a spokesperson for Angus Council said: “Last week during the severe weather, our road crews worked tirelessly to first tackle snow affecting the priority routes, to keep traffic moving and to enable essential supplies to reach shops.

“The snowblower (pictured) was purchased recently by our contractor and has proved a great asset to our roads crews in tackling deep snow drifts.

“The crews are this week dealing with residual snow where it remains an issue in side streets or more remote areas of the county.

“We are grateful to the public who helped us by clearing and gritting the small side streets and pavements.

“We deal as soon as possible with requests to refill grit bins, but inevitably the heavy snowfalls last week stretched our resources: thanks for your patience.

“If your local grit bin needs replenished, please call ACCESSLine 08452 777 778. Please visit the Winter Watch section of the council website at www.angus.gov.uk for further information.”