Scotland braced for 70mph winds from Storm Erik

Members of the public look on as Storm Erik makes landfall with winds of up to 70mph. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Members of the public look on as Storm Erik makes landfall with winds of up to 70mph. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
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Gusts of up to 70mph from Storm Erik are due to blast southern Scotland today after causing travel disruption across the west coast.

Met Office yellow – “be aware” – severe weather warnings are in force until 3pm, including for rain.

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The agency warned: “A swathe of very strong westerly winds is expected to move east through Saturday morning, easing from the west during the day.

“Inland gusts of 55mph are expected quite widely, with some places having gusts to 70mph, more particularly around exposed coasts and hills.”

The Met Office said there was a risk of flooding north of the Central Belt because of “frequent heavy showers” and melting snow.

It said: “Expect 20-30mm of rain widely, with up to 60mm over high ground.”

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A total of 22 flood warnings were issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency for the Clyde and Solway coast, and in Tayside.

Met Office meteorologist Nicola Maxey said snow could return to higher ground tomorrow.

She said: “We’re expecting a widespread frost on Sunday night and into Monday, and the unsettled weather will continue into the start of next week.”

Storm Erik caused significant disruption to CalMac’s west coast ferries yesterday, with sailings on many routes suspended, such as the main link to Arran.

Services already cancelled for today include to Islay and Colonsay, and Coll and Tiree.

The Erskine Bridge over the Clyde and the Skye Bridge were closed to tall vehicles while the Tay Road Bridge was open to cars only yesterday.

Other problems on the roads included flooding on the M9 near Stirling.

ScotRail passengers were also affected. High winds closed the coastal route between Kilwinning, Ardrossan and Largs, and part of the West Highland line between Craigendoran and Helensburgh.

Flooding disrupted the Edinburgh-Glasgow line via Airdrie, between Easterhouse and Garrowhill in Glasgow.

It also delayed trains on the Glasgow-Dumfries line at Stewarton in East Ayrshire and Kirkconnel in Dumfries and Galloway.

The line was later blocked by a fallen tree between Sanquhar and Dumfries.