UPDATED: 1500hrs, 18/9/2018

Road traffic is now flowing between north and south Harris, albeit in a single lane - but the ferry service remains diverted to Stornoway. 

The debris from last night (seen above)  has now been removed from the road.

The road has now reopened albeit to a controlled single lane.

Engineering staff from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar were on site a first light today.

"They still have some concerns about the stability of some small sections of ground adjacent to the area that has slipped. The weather forecast for the next couple of days is not good and engineers are unable to get access to the problem area with an excavator so they will be putting temporary protective measures at the roadside and maintain a controlled single lane for the next few days," an informed source stated.

The land affected is privately owned, and was the location where gunnera removal and replanting with native trees was done about three years ago.

Inevitably people were trapped the wrong side of the land slip last night - one local accommodation provider said on Twitter: "Two of my guests were stuck on the Harris side of this landslide last night. In the spirit of true Hebridean hospitality, a local lady took them to her own home and gave them lodgings for the night. They made it back here this morning safely."

Overall Harris had started today (Tuesday September 18th) in a most unusual state of crisis in addition to the blocked road.  (Photo above by Innes Morrison)

  • The ferry service to Skye is suspended because the Tarbert pier is blocked by a damaged fish-farm vessel
  • Sir E Scott school is shut
  • A weather warning for 50-60 mph winds is in place for tomorrow (Wednesday)

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar stated just before midnight:  “Sir E Scott school will be closed to pupils and the nursery on Tuesday 18th September.

“The school will be open for staff to attend when it is deemed safe to do so.

“Comhairle staff living south of the landslide should only travel to Stornoway when it is safe to do so.

“There may be some delay to home care services. In an emergency call Faire on 701702.”

As for Calmac, today (Tuesday 18th September) "due to ongoing issues with the stricken vessel berthed alongside at Tarbert pier, the following amended timetable operated: Depart Uig 09:30; Arrive Stornoway 12:30; Depart Stornoway 12:55; Arrive Uig 16:00.

There will now not be a service to Tarber tonight. 

All traffic for the 18:30 timetabled Uig-Tarbert is being asked to divert to Ullapool to travel to Stornoway.

The 17:30 Ullapool to Stornoway service tonight is being delayed until 18:00 to allow connections, to arrive in Stornoway 20:30.

Foot passenger transport will be provided.

Wednesday 19th Sept

There will be no service from Tarbert - Uig at 07:20 and all traffic is being asked to travel Stornoway - Ullapool at 07:00

Foot passenger transport will depart Tarbert 05:30

M.V Hebrides will: Depart Lochmaddy for Uig at 07:20
Arrive Uig 09:05
Depart Uig for Lochmaddy 09:30
Arrive Lochmaddy 11:15 **
Depart Lochmaddy 11:45 **
Arrive Uig 13:30 **

** All sailings for remainder of Wed 19th will be advised Wednesday morning as berth availability and weather updates are received.

On the weather outlook, the UK Meteorological Office, states for Harris and the rest of Scotland, that between 06:00 and 22.00 on Wednesday 19th September, “a spell of very windy weather is expected. Gusts of 50-60 mph are possible inland.

  • “Road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, with longer journey times and cancellations possible
  • “Some damage to buildings is possible, such as tiles blown from roofs. Falling trees or branches are possible
  • “Power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage
  • “Injuries and danger to life from flying debris
  • “Some roads and bridges may close