Flood warnings issued as Highland trains halted

Picture: John Devlin
Picture: John Devlin
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FLOODING halted trains between Perth and Inverness today as 20 flood warnings were issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).

It came as the Met Office issued a severe weather warning for gales gusting to 75mph on Friday, which could uproot trees and disrupt travel.

The Highland Main Line was closed, first at Kingussie, and then later at Dalguise, north of Dunkeld.

The shutdowns were triggered by concern that high water levels could have damaged a railway bridge over the Gynack Burn in Kingussie, and the Dalguise viaduct over the River Tay.

There was also water on the tracks in Kingussie. ScotRail passengers were switched to buses.

Kingussie is among four areas in Speyside to be covered by the Sepa warnings, which advise that flooding is expected and immediate action is required.

Riverside homes in Aviemore are also at risk.

A further 15 warnings cover Tayside, including for homes in Dunkeld and Pitlochry, and one in Easter Ross.

The alerts cover stretches of the rivers Tay, Isla, Almond, Tummel, Ericht, Earn, Lyon and Conon.

Strong winds posed a hazard for drivers on the Kessock, Dornoch and Erskine bridges, and on the A1 near Haddington.

The Met Office’s latest yellow - “be aware” - warning will be in force from noon to 11:45pm on Friday, covering the whole of Scotland apart from the north east.

A spokesman said: “South-westerly gales or severe gales are expected to affect much of Scotland during the second half of Friday.

“The strongest winds will affect northern and western parts at first, then reach the Central Belt and south later in the day.

“Gusts of around 75mph are expected near exposed coasts and over hills.

“Winds will be less strong across more sheltered inland areas, but occasional gusts of over 60mph are possible.

“Please be aware of difficult driving conditions, with the risk of travel disruption on roads and to ferries.

“Winds may be strong enough to bring down branches or even uproot some trees due to saturated ground.

“A period of heavy rain will also affect much of Scotland, especially western areas.”