Heavy rain leads to evacuation of 100 homes in Edinburgh

SEVERE flooding has hit the Capital, with almost 100 properties in the Stockbridge Colonies affected and other part of the city still at risk.

Sandbags were handed out to residents in Stockbridge as on-going flood prevention works struggled to cope with this morning’s incessant downpour.

While no-one has been evacuated from their homes, council workers estimated that around 100 homes had already been flooded.

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Properties in Bells Place and Kemp Place among the worst affected, and council teams set up respite and information centre in Stockbridge Primary School for local residents.

Severe flooding on the approach road to Edinburgh Airport was also causing chaos for travellers, with one taxi driver saying it was almost “impossible” to get through the water because it was so deep.

Airport fire crews were on-hand trying to clear the worst affected areas from the approach road.

Fire-fighters were using sandbags to stem the flow of water in Bell Place, and Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue said it has received 140 flooding related calls since midnight.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency issued 13 flood warnings in Edinburgh and the Lothians and in the Borders.

The A720 Edinburgh City by-pass was closed between Hermiston Gait and Straiton at around 9am due to flooding.

Lothian and Borders police advised motorists to avoid the area and allow extra time for their journey, particularly if travelling to the airport.

The Meadows was also flooded, leading Taste of Edinburgh Festival organisers to cancel all Saturday sessions.

In a statement organisers said: “This has not been an easy decision but the health and safety of all our restaurants, exhibitors and visitors is of paramount importance.

“We’re continually assessing the situation and will make a decision at 6pm today about whether we will open for our Sunday sessions. We are insured and weather aside, we are doing everything we can to make this possible.

“If we are open on Sunday, Saturday tickets will be valid for entry subject to site capacity.

“Refunds on Saturday tickets will be made but at this current time we would ask visitors to be patient as we deal with some very challenging conditions.”

The organisers said that further communication about refunds will be sent to ticket holders as soon as possible.

Forecasters warned of rain and flooding for much of Scotland on Saturday.

The Met Office issued amber “be prepared” warnings of heavy and persistent rain for central Scotland, Tayside, Fife, south-west Scotland and Lothian and Borders.

They warned members of the public to be prepared for the likelihood of surface water flooding and some disruption to travel and outdoor activities,

Yellow “be aware” warnings were in place for Strathclyde and Grampian.