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Stay away from coast and harbours – Moray Council advises as Storm Arwen strikes

By Lorna Thompson

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MORAY Council has urged locals to stay away from coastal areas today as Storm Arwen whips up.

The Met Office has upgraded Storm Arwen to a red weather warning for some areas of the east coast, from this afternoon until Saturday morning, though Moray remains in the amber zone at present.

SEPA flood alerts are in place for Findhorn, Nairn, Moray and Speyside, with coastal flooding a particular concern.

High waves and strong winds mean there are risks of waves overtopping and damage to coastal infrastructure for sections of the exposed coastline.

The council has dedicated crews ready to assist in Portgordon and Lossiemouth, which are being closely monitored for potential flooding.

Garmouth's community resilience operation is also being alerted.

Council duty emergency response co-ordinator Edward Thomas said: "Although Moray remains in the amber zone for the weather warning, we encourage all residents to keep up-to-date with the latest alerts on flooding, high winds and potential snow disruption.

"Given we're already seeing six-metre waves around our harbours, I would also ask residents to avoid coastal and harbour areas for the time being for their own safety.

"We expect high tide at 4pm will coincide with the worst of the high winds and are prepared to deploy our crews where necessary to assist residents.

"I'd repeat the message for residents to stay safe indoors where possible for their own safety, and prepare to protect their property from flooding where there is a potential risk.

"Our regular winter maintenance continues and any further information will be communicated directly with residents where necessary and can be found on our service status portal, including details of road or school closures."

The council says sandbag stocks are high and will be deployed if needed.

Its roads team will liaise Police Scotland should the Lecht snow gates need to be closed.

Both Glenlivet and Tomintoul primary schools closed early today due to high winds and snow.

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