All ferries, buses and most flights have been cancelled and the Vatersay causeway and several bridges are closed, cutting off entire islands.
Councils have ordered all schools in the area to close for the day with the severe weather conditions showing no signs of letting up until Sunday.
The Met Office has issued amber alerts for the whole Western Isles for wind and snow, forecasting 60mph winds. Gusts of up to 91mph have been recorded in South Uist – the highest in the country so far.
WATCH: Nic braves the weather to give us an update
SEPA has also issued flood warnings with fears the high winds would cause wave overtopping, which also prompted the closure of bridges and causeways.
As someone stuck on the Isle of Barra until further notice, I can tell you the wind is as bad as reports indicate, with waves lashing the pier and rocks around Kisimul Castle off Castlebay.
Rain and hail are intermittent and dark clouds roll across the usually calm bay. The small bus route around the island is cancelled amid fears they could overturn in a wind gust along the windswept coast.
Locals are resigned to the conditions, Jull Davis, co-owner of Endeavour B&B, said storms like this come through every winter and you “just have to get on with it”.
“This winter has been particularly bad though, usually you only get a couple of storms but weather like this has been constant and it makes it hard to do anything when the ferries and flights are cancelled,” she said.
More than 10,000 in Scotland and Northern Ireland were without power and Scottish Hydro said repairs in the Western Isles would be dependent on weather.
Only one of Caledonian MacBrayne’s 26 ferry routes is operating normally with the rest on amber alert or cancelled outright for today and many likely to be called off tomorrow.
Loganair and Flybe flights to and from the Western Isles are cancelled today, though Loganair services tonight are still scheduled.
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has urged those caught up in the storm to travel with care and to secure bins and any loose debris to prevent it blowing away.
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