HEAVY rain is forecast for Scotland as stricken communities prepare to assess the scale of the damage caused by flooding.
Yesterday, the Met Office revealed the UK had had its wettest December since records began in 1910.
And yellow, “be aware”, severe weather warnings are in force for Tayside and the Borders, along with flood-hit Aberdeenshire.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said 24 flood warnings remained in force for Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Tayside.
However, 16th century Abergeldie Castle, on the banks of the Dee in Aberdeenshire, that threatened to topple into the swollen river looks set to be saved.
Structural engineers have said the castle, which neighbours the Queen’s Balmoral residence, is no longer at imminent risk.
Royal Deeside has experienced some of its worst flooding in years following Storm Frank, with the town of Ballater badly hit.
Sepa hydrology duty manager David Faichney said: “It’s possible some flooding could be significant in areas which are already saturated from the heavy rainfall we’ve experienced the last few days and could affect properties, roads and disrupt transport links.”
Firefighters yesterday pumped floodwater from Perth city centre’s Marshall Place and South Street.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney spoke of the “astonishing” volume of water in the River Tay, which runs through the city and which reached its highest level for 22 years.
Firefighters were also called to Fowlis, west of Dundee, and Port Elphinstone, south of Inverurie in Aberdeenshire, where some residents had been evacuated.
Residents also spent the night away from their homes at Aboyne in Aberdeenshire, as water levels threatened their properties.
North East Scotland Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes said flooding in Aberdeenshire had been “unprecedented in scale and scope”.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the A93 Aberdeen-Braemar road had “gone for large parts of its route length”.
This includes a section swept away by the River Dee between Ballater and Crathie.
The rail line between Perth and Aviemore is closed until Monday and the west coast main line between Glasgow and Carlisle is closed until 1 February after floodwater weakened bridges.
North of York, 26 pupils had to be rescued from a school bus stuck in floods after its driver failed to heed a “road ahead closed” sign.
The Met Office said 351mm of rain fell in Scotland last month, the UK’s wettest December.
Some areas had three times normal rainfall, including parts of Aberdeenshire, Tayside, the Borders, and Dumfries and Galloway.
Wales got an even greater drenching, totalling 359mm.
Scotland also had its second wettest year in 2015, after 2011. December’s mean UK temperature was a record at 7.9C – as warm as April. That was 4.1C above the long-term average, and broke the previous record of 6.9C set in 1934.
Though cooler, much of Scotland was around 3C above average, with a mean temperature of 5.4C.