Scotland hit by floods: Homes evacuated as heavy rain causes chaos

EMERGENCY service teams were involved in rescue operations across Scotland today as heavy rains caused widespread flooding.

• Firefighters attempt to clear flood water in Stonehaven today

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) issued 13 flood warnings following hours of sustained rainfall and heavy winds in much of the country.

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In Huntly, more than 100 people had to be rescued when the River Deveron burst its banks.

First Minister Alex Salmond has visited the area, and said he intends to do everything he can to help those affected.

Fifty residents in Stonehaven had to be rescued after a river in the town burst its banks. Forth Coastguard assisted police and fire crews as evacuatees from the Cameron Street area taken to the town hall.

Roads and rail lines in Tayside and Angus were closed as water levels soared. The A90 was shut at Brechin, while rail passengers were left stranded for hours by flooded lines at Montrose.

Moray Council said the Rivers Spey and Lossie were being monitored by SEPA and a severe flood warning was issued for the Spey downstream of Grantown.

Thirty stranded motorists were accommodated in Moray Council's rest centres at Keith, and the A941 road at Rothes was closed following a landslip.

Coastguards were called out to help people from homes in the Kinnesburn area of St Andrews.

There were reports of flood damage to homes and businesses in Arbroath,

Carnoustie and Kirriemuir.

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Scotland's severe weather warnings affect the Rivers Spey and Isla, with experts warning that the levels are "extremely" high.

Superintendent Innes Walker of Grampian Police said: "People should not take journeys unless absolutely necessary and they should listen to the radio for updates on road conditions.

"The advice we are getting from the Met Office is that conditions improved overnight but clearly there will be a knock on effect for commuters.

"Grampian Police are working with the local authority, Scottish Ambulance Service, Grampian Fire and Rescue and the Coastguard to alleviate the problems and minimise the effects of this flooding on affected people."

Scottish Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham said: "Everyone needs to be aware of the increased risks and, as we have seen in the last 24 hours, that doesn't just apply to those living in areas where there is a history of flooding."

• Have you been affected by today's floods? Send your stories and pictures to [email protected]