A right white mess!

WINTER returned with a vengeance to Ellon last week, as blizzards engulfed the Formartine area making roads impassable, closing schools and businesses for the second time in a month.

The snow, which comes after a brief mild spell, began falling on Wednesday night, leaving the area under a thick blanket by the morning. Subsequent snowfall has compounded the problem, and saw temperatures drop in the town to -12C on Monday evening and a bank of freezing fog on Tuesday evening which saw temperatures plummet to -11C.

After the weekend’s snowfall, road conditions rapidly became hazardous across Aberdeenshire.

The Times received numerous phone calls, early Monday morning regarding the “state” and “terrible” conditions at Ellon’s Health Centre car park. Many cars got stuck and one man took twenty minutes to get his car parked.

Aberdeenshire Council are not responsible for clearing the car park, NHS Grampian own and maintain the ground.

Practice Manager Caroline Duguid told the Times on Monday: “A digger has now arrived and cleared the car park of snow this morning. NHS Grampian have made arrangements for snow to be cleared from car park when snow falls again.

Aberdeenshire Council said that the utmost was being done to keep roads clear.

On Tuesday a spokesman said: “Aberdeenshire Council road crews are once again out in force continuing a road treatment programme across the Aberdeenshire network. Work is continuing to keep roads across the north-east open and gritted as the cold weather continues across the country.

“A total of 46 gritters with blades, ten snowploughs, 34 footpath gritters, 32 farmer’s snowploughs and 38 diggers - a total manpower of 208 - have been in operation from 3.30pm yesterday afternoon and this morning from 5.30am.”

Many School pupils did not get to see the end of their school term because from last Friday onwards, schools across Aberdeenshire were either fully or partially closed.