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Tuesday 3 January 2012: The storm

The third weather related blip of the year - and it is only the third of January.

The storm that broke with us about 5.00 this morning was one of the worst I have experienced in 20 years in Cowal. We had no power for almost four hours (and that is very unusual here), our greenhouse, which has been standing for more than 15 years , is now a twisted wreck and the stream above the house burst its banks , damaging yet again the path to the waterfall.

More importantly Cathleen's school at Sandbank has lost a large part of its roof and both its flagpoles (one of which is bent over and parallel with the ground) whilst there is also great deal of damage to buildings in Dunoon. Four people were airlifted to hospital from the caravan site at Loch Eck (just north of Dunoon) after their caravan flipped over.

We only discovered about the school when the power came back on , so we then had to rush in to check the building. That in itself was a problem as the road to Dunoon was passable only with the greatest of care. There was debris everywhere and quite a few trees hanging over the road or lying in bits beside it.

This was, however the most spectacular obstacle. Just by what is known as the Gamekeeper's Cottage above Loch Striven these two trees had been uprooted but had not been able to fall completely, given the higher land on which their tops landed.

We had to drive under them both ways - with more than a little trepidation.

There is also lots of other damage throughout the Argyll & Bute Constituency and I am now getting various reports of it, whilst waiting for a report on damage to educational buildings throughout the country as the storms were also very violent in the Central Belt and are now apparently blowing in the North East.

This is the fourth violent storm in this area in as many weeks - and between them we have had floods.

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