Local News for Tuesday 27th December 2016

Christmas joy in Back
A joyful early Christmas present was delivered to one family in Back, when baby Olivier Sobul arrived nearly two weeks early, on Christmas Eve. Olivier’s parents, Anna and Marcin Sobul, weren’t expecting the new arrival until January 7th, but he chose Christmas Eve at 9pm to make his entrance to the world. Weighing in at 8lbs and 7oz, Olivier is a baby brother for Oscar, 9, Victoria, 7 and Allan, 3, and a fourth grandchild for Bogdan and Kristina, who were visiting the family from their home in Lask, Poland when the new baby arrived.


 
Dementia Dip
A select band of hardy souls did manage the Boxing Day Dementia Dip in aid of Alzheimers Scotland yesterday, despite the perishing cold and strong winds of Storm Conor. The group went into the sea from Gress beach at lunchtime yesterday, with coastguards on standby for safety, and all money raised going to the Alzheimers Scotland Lewis and Harris group.
 
Ferry services resume
Services across CalMac's network began to resume yesterday after what CalMac described as ‘a very difficult weekend of festive weather’. There was some continued disruption yesterday as high winds and rough seas persisted in many areas, but forecasts indicate that conditions should improve today. CalMac hopes that Tuesday will bring with it a further increase in the number of routes returning to full service. Operations director Drew Collier said: "There is no doubt this has been a difficult weekend for our communities, customers, crews and port staff, and we can hopefully look forward to a period of increased certainty for travellers. I remain appreciative of the support and forbearance we have experienced in light of these conditions, which are out of our control but, nonetheless, frustrating."
Other storm effects
Flights were also affected over the Christmas weekend, with soome flights yesterday running late or cancelled as storm winds continued to batter the islands. Loganair put extra planes on during the days before Christmas to move passengers whenever conditions allowed.
Scottish and Southern Electricity Network said they felt the network had held up well to two consecutive storms, during which they remained at a state of yellow alert throughout. A total power loss to Lewis and North Harris on Friday afternoon was due to a grid fault in the Stornoway area, and power generation equipment had most areas back on supply within three hours. There were smaller-scale power interruptions around Lewis and Harris across the weekend, but with extra teams of engineers on standby repairs could be quickly put in place.
 
School displays to be judged this week
Festive display boards painted by primary school children for Stornoway town centre could not be safely displayed around the town this year, due to the succession of storms. The Christmas boards created by local schools for Stornoway Amenity Trust were given a safe place on Matheson Road on Christmas Eve and the winners will be announced by the Trust this week.