Strathclyde Telegraph

Glasgow Recovers After the Beast from the East

Glasgow is going back to normal after the Beast from the East wrecked havoc in Scotland for the past few days. Yellow warnings are still in force amidst chances of ice and further snow showers.

Schools and universities reopened on Monday the 5th. Most shops in the city centre have reopened on the weekend, receiving their first deliveries in days.

Bus services resumed on Friday among diversions and cancellations. Most ScotRail routes are already operational, while some rail tracks are still being cleared from drifting snow. Airlines passengers are still facing cancellations and delays.

The snow started falling on Tuesday evening, continuing into Wednesday and resulted in a red warning issued by the MET Office across the Central Belt.

With freezing temperatures and up to 20 inches of snow, the Beast from the East has caused what had been called the worst weather in years. The red warning was issued for the first time ever in Scotland, meaning “widespread damage, travel and power disruption and risk to life is likely”.

Authorities advised people to stay home and refrain from travelling unless strictly necessary, as this could represent a risk for like with “heavy snow showers and drifting of lying snow.”

First and ScotRail suspended services in and around the Glasgow area. Glasgow Airport closed due to a “challenging travel condition”. Drivers were left stranded overnight on the M80 near Glasgow.

Schools and universities across Glasgow remained closed from Wednesday until Monday. Shops, offices, and tourist attractions operated reduced hours or were forced to shut due to a lack of staff. Panic buyers stormed supermarkets and grocery shops, leaving bread and milk shelves empty, exaggerated by a halt in deliveries.

Emergency services were inundated with calls and military intervention was necessary to ensure vital staff could reach hospitals in Glasgow and Edinburgh. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde staff decided to sleepover, putting patients first during this time of disruption.

The snow-related chaos brought communities together. Deputy First Minister John Swinney praised the work of emergency services and told the BBC “we’ve also seen a huge effort by members of the public to provide voluntary assistance to get our communities up on their feet again.”

“And it has been really heartening and encouraging to see that community spirit in evidence so clearly across Scotland over the past few days.”

Civilians have helped services by liberating roads from the snow, helping the homeless and even bringing food and water to stranded motorists.

Families crowded parks in Glasgow in the past few days, taking advantage of the snow for a day out sledging. Skiers have also been spotted in the streets of Glasgow.

Despite the weather crisis there is also space for humour with people taking to social media to post bizarre situations or joking about the apocalyptic scenario.

The British reaction to the Beast from the East has also aroused the hilarity of people from “snowy countries”. Tweets appeared mocking the panic generated by the snow and the #uksnow and #snowmageddon hashtags.

This time wasn’t devoid of controversies with employers criticised for expecting drivers to carry out deliveries, thus putting their lives at risk.

The Beast of the East has interested the whole of Europe in the past week. Britain, Ireland and Switzerand were particularly affected, in Amsterdam ice on canals was thick enough that residents could skate on it and in Italy the snow has reached as south as Pompeii for the first time in years.

The weather system would be caused by a heatwave coming from the Artic, where temperatures rose to 6C, while they plummeted to -10C in parts of the UK.

By Sara Paciaroni