Scotland’s weather: Amber rain warning raises flood risk

The boulder at the Rest and be Thankful which will be blown up. Picture: Contributed
The boulder at the Rest and be Thankful which will be blown up. Picture: Contributed
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FURTHER “significant” flooding was forecast for eastern Scotland today after the Met Office stepped up its latest heavy rain warning to amber.

The “be prepared” alert for up to another 60mm of rain covers Perthshire, Angus and southern Aberdeenshire – already among the worst=hit by Storm Frank. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has 25 flood warnings in force for the areas, including in Ballater, Inverurie, Perth and Brechin.

Hydrology duty manager David Faichney said: “With the saturated nature of the ground and the currently high river levels, we expect to see some significant flooding impacts in parts of Tayside, Angus, Aberdeenshire and eastern Moray.

“The main areas at risk include the River Isla, the lower reaches of the River Tay and smaller watercourses in Angus and southern Aberdeenshire.”

A yellow “be aware” warning also covers the rest of Aberdeenshire and the Fife, Midlothian, East Lothian, Borders and Stirling council areas today, with some heavy rain continuing into tomorrow morning.

Forecasters said some snow may fall, including at low levels, with more likely from Monday as conditions turn colder.

• READ MORE: Rest and Be Thankful landslip ‘biggest ever’

The Met Office said: “A north or north-westerly airflow will push Arctic air across the UK, bringing weather fairly typical for January.”

Transport minister Derek Mackay said: “With more heavy rain forecast for the coming days, disruption to transport in the affected areas is likely and people should plan their travel carefully.”

Meanwhile, engineers yesterday used explosives to break up a 150-tonne boulder perched above the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful pass in Argyll.

Safety checks are due to be carried out today to see if the road can be re-opened. Traffic has been switched to a single-track emergency diversion route below the A83 but it is only open during daylight for safety reasons.

Work also continued to prevent 16th century Abergeldie Castle, in the heart of the Cairngorms, from collapsing into the River Dee after a large piece of riverbank was washed away in last week’s floods.

Tonnes of rock have been piled on the wrecked riverbank in an attempt to save the A-listed castle.