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Diciadain, 04/Jan/2011

Islay and the Power of Nature

Islay News in stencil

Yesterday evening in an email to friends I mentioned that I thought some of the 97mph gusts storm damage on Islay wouldn't fully be visible until today. A few minutes after I posted last night's entry an email from a friend on Islay with some pictures arrived, during the day today I became aware of some more information and pictures. Time to revisit what happened yesterday:

Back in 2002, during my World Tour of Scotland, I also visited Shetland including the Eshaness cliffs. One of the places there is called the Grind o'da Navir (Gate of the Borer), where the sea has ripped huge chunks of rock out of the cliff face and deposited them inlands during violent storms. This I had to think of when I saw the picture of the wall at Port Charlotte pier, where a large section of the wall had been ripped off and turned by 90°. In Storming New Year the Bruichladdich Blog reckons the ripped off piece of reinforced concrete weighs 5 tons. The power of nature…

Moving over to the other end of the island, the previous pictures I had seen of the damage to Ramsay Hall in Port Ellen only showed the damaged area. This picture a friend sent me shows the whole building and illustrates the extent of the damage:

Picture of a storm damaged community hall with about a quarter of the roof missing

Of course there was damage at the distilleries as well. I haven't seen anything further from the distillery, but John Campbell of Laphroaig distillery tweeted earlier:

Dealing with a lot of storm damage today most warehouse roofs need attention, damage to pagodas and floor malting roof also. :-(

The damage at Bruichladdich has been described and illustrated on their blog in the previously mentioned Storming New Year entry on their blog. At Bowmore you might have seen Andrew Jackson's picture of the missing pagoda, today Phil Gray posted a picture of the fallen pagoda on Facebook. To my knowledge luckily nobody was hurt when it came down. In Port Ellen all the warehouses are damaged, in this picture a friend sent me you can see the lead (?) lining has just been bent upwards by the force of the wind:

Picture of old distillery warehouses with storm damage

As far as I know some places on Islay are still without electricity (or have only been reconnected very recently, after well over 30 hours), which again illustrates the scale of the damage and what the repair teams have been up against. There was of course also damage to various other property on Islay, as this last image sent by a friend shows, the roof of a shed wrapped around a telegraph pole:

Picture of the remains of a shed roof wrapped around telegraph poles

Unfortunately it looks like stormy conditions have returned to Islay tonight with 60-70mph gusts. Hopefully there won't be any further serious damage and everyone will get some relief over the coming days. Stay safe everyone!

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