Rain and shine as floods hit Scotland

MUCH of Scotland was battered by thunder and lightning yesterday - while south of the Border saw mostly clear skies and blistering temperatures of up to 32C.

But forecasters promised Scots that a return to better weather was on its way.

There were reports of flash-flooding and some rail disruption caused by downpours in the east and south-west of Scotland.

Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service received around 60 calls from homes and businesses which had suffered flooding. Staff at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh had to deal with flooding and guests were evacuated for a short time.

The Met Office said that, despite the wet weather, temperatures rose as high as 26C in south and east Scotland.

In the next few days, temperatures are expected to stay in the mid-20s before turning cooler and showery again by Friday.

A forecaster at the Met Office in Aberdeen said: "There have been some very heavy downpours and thunderstorms in some areas. But it is a case of two weather stories as areas in the south have been quite fine and dry. Better weather is expected as we go into the week and we could see highs of 24C before it becomes cooler and fresher by Friday."

A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Police said there had been "flooding all over the place". She said: "We have had really heavy rain and severe flooding on Oxgangs Road [in Edinburgh], but there has been flooding all over the city."

And a Fife Constabulary spokesman said that the Esplanade in Kirkcaldy had been covered by six to eight inches of water, causing slow-moving traffic.

Police in Grampian urged motorists to take care on the roads due to a lot of surface water making conditions hazardous. The A90 and A92 at Stonehaven were badly affected.

Network Rail reported that train services around Perth were disrupted due to bad weather conditions yesterday, with delays of up to 30 minutes.

In south Aberdeenshire, more than 550 homes were left without power during the storms. And ScottishPower said around 100 homes were hit by power cuts in Ayrshire and Dumfries.

There were also reports of power cuts in Edinburgh and East Lothian. In parts of Edinburgh, gardens were flooded with raw sewage. Fiona Reynolds, a mother-of-three who lives on Saughton Mains Place in the west of the city, said that several houses on her street had been affected by the flooding. "There is just everything, everywhere. The smell is just so bad," she said."The same thing happens every time it rains like this."

Mrs Reynolds, a child-minder, said she had had to tell parents not to bring their children to her, fearing the sewage was a health hazard.

Elsewhere in the UK, away from swathes of sunshine in the Midlands and the south-east of England, there were also heavy showers and storm conditions in Devon and Cornwall, with Plymouth witnessing a particularly dramatic display of lightning. Cheshire, Lancashire and parts of Wales were hit by rainstorms.

But forecasters south of the Border were yesterday warning of a heatwave, with temperatures predicted to rise as high as 33C by tomorrow. "High temperatures can be dangerous, especially for the very young or very old," the Department of Health in London warned.

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