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Building wind speeds overnight heralded a short but intense period of gales and rain, forecast to hit the Western Isles with greatest force from 6am today (Wednesday 8 February).

A Met Office weather alert for south-westerly gales gusting up to 75mph is in force for 11 hours, up to 5pm, and widespread transport disruption is forecast.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has issued two flood warnings for high tide this morning, one for the Braighe around 8.30am and one for Baleshare at about 8.15am.

They advise that gale force southerly winds, along with high tides and waves, mean that the Braighe and Baleshare causeways could be impacted with wave overtopping, spray and debris.

Flooding is also possible on low-lying land, roads and properties on either side of the causeway on Baleshare and Clachan na Luib.  

To find out if the road is closed, they advise checking on the HM Coastguard - Western Isles, Skye and Lochaber Facebook page at

Check the Comhairle's Braighe live cam

Western Isles Police and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have also issued general warnings of adverse conditions through Wednesday.

In view of the high winds forecast on Wednesday 8 February and the potential for travel disruption, Loganair are offering customers travelling to or from Benbecula, Barra, Stornoway and Tiree the opportunity to adjust travel plans without charge.

More information can be found here:

There’s widespread disruption on the ferry network, too, with all cross-Minch services cancelled for most of the day, although CalMac says a sailing from Ullapool to Stornoway may be possible at 4.30pm.

Ferry services between Eriskay and Barra are also cancelled for most of the day; North Uist has lost its ferry services again, having had only one car ferry dock successfully in the last five days. There are no ferries at all on the Sound of Harris after nearly a week of foot-passenger-only sailings.