YET more bad weather warnings were issued by the Met Office yesterday, with heavy rain and potential flooding on New Year’s Day forecast to follow downpours today across central and western Scotland.
The latest alert came as 15 flood warnings were in force last night for Perthshire, where flooding is expected and “immediate action” is required.
The Met Office has issued an amber – be prepared – severe weather warning for much of Dumfries and Galloway for this morning.
Yellow – “be aware” – warnings also cover a swathe of central, western and south western Scotland between Perthshire and Dumfries and Galloway for today and New Year’s Day.
The Met Office said rain would become heavy last night and this morning, with 20-30mm (0.9-1.2in) widely, and 50-60mm (2-2.4in) over high ground. A spokesman said: “The rain will fall on already saturated ground, so the public should be aware of the risk of localised flooding.
“There is now increased confidence for 50-60mm of rain widely across south-west Scotland, thus the upgrade to amber for this region, where the public should be prepared for the risk of flooding.”
Forecasters said there would be further rain tomorrow, then another spell of heavy and persistent rain on Wednesday afternoon and evening – presenting a similar flood risk. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency said the Perthshire flood warnings included stretches of the rivers Earn, Isla, Lyon, Tay and Tummel, including in Pitlochry, Coupar Angus and Kenmore, with farmland said to be the areas most at risk.
There were also eight flood alerts in force, where flooding is possible – for parts of Argyll and Bute, Ayrshire and Arran, Central, Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee and Angus, Easter Ross and the Great Glen, the Borders, and west-central Scotland.
CalMac warned passengers that sailings on several ferry routes would be cancelled today because of the strong winds.
They include between Ardrossan in Ayrshire and Brodick on Arran, and Oban and Castlebay in Barra and Lochboisdale in South Uist. CalMac said there would also be disruption to the service between Kennacraig in Kintyre and Islay.
South of the Border, the Energy Networks Association said it expected to connect the remaining 130 properties which had been without power since the Christmas storms by last night.
The Environment Agency said around 1,300 properties were flooded in England and the predicted further rainfall meant there was a “continued heightened flood risk” across southern England, especially in the south-west, where river levels are high and the ground is saturated.
The agency said large rivers such as the Thames, Severn and Great Ouse in Cambridgeshire were most at risk of flooding.