Scotland’s weather: Heavy rain set to continue

The flooded pitch of Hawick Rugby and Football Club in Scotland, after the River Teviot burst its banks. Picture: PA
The flooded pitch of Hawick Rugby and Football Club in Scotland, after the River Teviot burst its banks. Picture: PA
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Scotland is being warned to brace itself for more weather misery as continuing heavy rain is predicted for areas still struggling to recover from the catastrophic effects of Storm Desmond.

Hundreds of Scots were forced to leave their homes at the weekend as the fourth named storm of the season dumped record levels of rain across parts of the UK.

Met Office figures suggest 340mm of rain fell in just 24 hours in the Lake District – the amount normally expected over a month – while parts of Perthshire and the Borders were hit by around 140mm.

Householders in the worst-hit regions were today attempting a clear-up as forecasts show there will be little respite from downpours for the rest of the week.

Meteorologists are warning there is more rain to come, with yellow severe weather warnings in place for the whole of southern Scotland until Thursday.

Around 600 people were evacuated from their homes in the Borders town of Hawick as the River Teviot burst its banks in the worst flooding seen there in a decade.

Meanwhile, amost 20 properties in Blair Atholl were abandoned after the Garry Burn burst its banks.

Elsewhere residents fled from a caravan park in Aviemore, next to the River Spey, and from homes close to the River Esk in Langholm .

The situation is even worse in northern England, which suffered the worst devastation from the storm.

Cumbria was worst hit. Eight rescue centres have been set up in the area to look after people who left their homes to escape the rising water.

Around 2,500 properties remain flooded in Carlisle alone.

Hawick couple Sheena and John Gillespie are still assessing the scale of the damage after the house they were staying in was engulfed as the nearby river overflowed.

Mrs Gillespie, who works at Borders College, were renting the property while their own place is being renovated. Much of their stuff was packed in boxes.

“When we got the flood warning we started moving stuff upstairs. We even started putting things in the loft,” she said.

“The flood team were great – they offered us to stay at the local leisure centre but we decided to stay put.

“About teatime the river came right over the wall and flooded the road. The next time we looked it was halfway across the car parking area.

“We were were still desperately trying to move as much stuff as we could. Then it just started pouring in the door.

“We had to go upstairs. The electricity went off and the burglar alarm started beeping.

“We just had to stay in the bedroom, but we had candles.

“The water level came up to the fourth step on the inside staircase. It was above the radiators and the sofa was floating about in it.

“But the water was all black. I can’t say how horrible it is - it’s absolutely disgusting, like a silt or sludge.

“Downstairs is completely ruined. In the kitchen all the units are warped.”

The Gillespies, who had planned to spend Christmas and New Year in the Commercial Road house, are having to move to a temporary flat while the clean-up takes place.