Weather: Washout weekend on way, warn forecasters
FORECASTERS say the wet weather which has lashed much of Scotland this week will continue until the weekend however severe weather warnings have now been lifted.
• Only one flood warning remains in place for Whitesands, in Dumfries
The torrential downpours seen over the last few days are expected to be replaced by lighters showers.
Eleven areas are still on flood alert, including Tayside, the Borders and Argyll, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency said.
The conditions caused major disruption to roads, railways and ferry services, with the Met Office issuing warnings of up to another 2in (60mm) of rain due to fall in some parts over the next few days.
Winds gusting up to 61mph hit Inverbervie on the Aberdeenshire coast, while 58mph gusts were recorded in Edinburgh and Stornoway.
There were ten flood warnings in force across Scotland last night – eight in Perthshire – where the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said immediate action was required because rivers were expected to burst their banks.
These covered three stretches of the River Earn between Comrie and Bridge of Earn; three sections of the Tay around Aberfeldy and Ballinluig; the River Isla near Ruthven; the River Lyon in Glen Lyon; the River Tweed near Dawyck Botanic Garden in the Borders; and Whitesands in Dumfries.
An ice warning was issued by Aberdeen City Council for Friday, with plunging temperatures risking frozen roads and pavements following overnight rain.
A man has died after his car became trapped under a bridge near a ford in Somerset last night.
The motorist, who pronounced dead at the scene, has yet to be identified.
The Met Office also issued a yellow warning – “be aware” –for heavy rain and high winds across southern Scotland for tomorrow and Sunday south of the Central Belt, caused by a deep depression developing off Portugal, which could cause further flooding and travel disruption.
A spokesman said: “Many areas are likely to experience a period of very wet and very windy weather over the weekend. The public should be aware that some flooding is likely, and winds could potentially cause damage to buildings and uproot some trees.
“Given the saturated ground, there is potential for the rainfall to lead to considerable disruption in some areas, though at this stage details are uncertain.”
The taxi rank outside Glasgow Central – the busiest rail station outside London – was closed yesterday after masonry fell from a building in Gordon Street.
The city council said it had dealt with 54 flooding incidents on the roads yesterday morning.
Flooding also disrupted traffic on major routes, including several roads in the central Borders, such as the A7 in Galashiels, the A68 and A697.
The M8 was affected near Bathgate, the M73 and M74 in South Lanarkshire, the A9 near Auchterarder and the A830 Road to the Isles between Morar and Mallaig. Flooding also caused problems on the A90 north of Dundee, the A84 north of Callander and the A823(M) south of Dunfermline.
A 40mph speed limit was imposed on the Forth Road Bridge, while high winds were reported on the Skye Bridge.
Railway routes were also hit, with a landslip forcing the closure of the Kilmarnock- Dumfries line. Workers are expected to complete repairs by Friday afternoon.
Commuters also suffered delays and cancellations caused by flooding at Hartwood in North Lanarkshire on the Edinburgh-Glasgow line via Shotts.
Areas with the highest rainfall on Thursday were Threave with 30mm and Eskdalemuir with 29.2mm, both in Dumfries and Galloway.
CalMac reported disruption to several west coast ferry routes, with winds gusting to more than 50mph near Oban.
A Tayside Police spokesman said: “We advise drivers to reduce their speed and drive with the utmost care as heavy and persistent rainfall is set to continue across the region through today, leading to surface water that will make driving conditions more difficult.
“Drivers should slow down approaching standing water to avoid risks of aquaplaning. They should also give consideration to any pedestrians nearby.”
Staff at Logan Botanic Garden, south of Stranraer, were sent home at lunchtime after the access road flooded. Garden curator Richard Baines said: “I have never driven in rain like it before. The water was flowing down the road like a river.”
Emergency services were on standby in an attempt to prevent flooding in the Perthshire village of Comrie, where more than 100 residents were evacuated on Monday when the Water of Ruchill burst its banks.
Perth and Kinross Council announced that flood defences for the village, which was also flooded in August, are to be strengthened, with £1 million set aside.
Tony Conlan, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: “By Saturday night, a heavy band of rain will push up from England and is likely to cause problems.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North west