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'Fantastic' response from emergency services and Caithness people during snow storm, says Thurso community councillor

By Gordon Calder

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THE response from the emergency services and Caithness people during the recent snow storm was "fantastic".

So said Thelma Mackenzie, the chairwoman of the Thurso Community Council, when the subject was discussed at last week's meeting.

She said: "The various agencies and local people all pulled together and did a fantastic job."

Thurso and Northwest Caithness Highland councillor, Ron Gunn, agreed and said a great community spirit was shown during the adverse wintry weather which saw the A9 and other roads closed, schools shut and disruption to travel.

He praised the emergency services, farmers, individuals and the various organisations which helped out during what was a difficult time.

Councillor Gunn said: "Everyone showed a really good community spirit and I would like to thank them all." It was pointed out that the emergency services and Highland Council were assisted by staff from Dounreay, the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, the Coastguard, a number of different agencies as well as members of the community.

Thurso-based police sergeant, Stephen Todd, said, at times, the conditions on the roads were "horrendous" and described the response from the community as "amazing."

The response from the emergency services and Caithness people during recent snow storm was "fantastic"
The response from the emergency services and Caithness people during recent snow storm was "fantastic"

Louise Smith pointed out that a baby was born in the back of an ambulance on its way to Raigmore in Inverness during the storms. It was said that a consultant and a nurse was rushed up from the Highland captial to assist with the birth.

Community councillor, Billy Sinclair, said he had been told that on one occasion only one snow plough was available in Caithness due to problems with the vehicles or availability of staff.

He wondered if all the new ploughs go to Inverness and all the "rubbish" is sent to Caithness.

Thurso and Northwest Caithness councillor, Matthew Reiss, said ploughs and gritters do a lot of work and two were broken down.

"It all comes down to a lack of money. All the difficulties we face all come down to cash," he said.

Councillor Gunn pointed out that some ploughs from Sutherland helped out in Caithness during the bad weather.

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