Heavy rainfall brings widespread disruption to Scotland's travel network

Heavy rainfall from Storm Alex brought widespread disruption across Scotland’s transport network today, amid warnings of further persistent rainfall the week ahead.
Storm Alex takes its toll on parts of Scotland as areas are affected by heavy rainfall and major floodingStorm Alex takes its toll on parts of Scotland as areas are affected by heavy rainfall and major flooding
Storm Alex takes its toll on parts of Scotland as areas are affected by heavy rainfall and major flooding

According to Met Office radar estimates, as much as 86mm of rain fell on parts of the north east from midnight Friday through to midday Sunday.

Network Rail said tracks had flooded between Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes, Elgin and Keith, Dyce and Inverurie, and at Inverkeilor, between Arbroath and Montrose.

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A landslip was also reported between Inverkeithing and Aberdour, as well as north of Kirkcaldy.

Scotrail warned of “significant changes” to Aberdeen services connecting with Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Inverness, as well as minor disruption affecting Inverness services to and from Glasgow and Edinburgh.

In all, the operator said there was “major disruption” of 22 of its routes across the country, the vast majority of which were down to the extreme weather conditions.

However, as the rain eased by mid-afternoon, Network Rail said its integrated control team and staff on the ground had made “great progress” in reopening routes.

On the roads, several routes were closed in Perthshire, including the A93 Blairgowrie to Perth by Cargill, and the A926 Alyth to Blairgowrie at New Alyth.

In Aberdeen, a section of the key A96 connecting the city to Inverness, had to be closed at Forrit Brae due to extensive flooding.

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Weather in Scotland: Heavy rain warnings across large parts of the UK

Flood barriers were set up by the River Carron in Stonehaven and at Kembhill Park in Kemnay, and across swaths of Aberdeenshire, local authority engineers were conducting safety checks of bridges across the Don, North, Esk, and Deveron rivers.

In a statement, Aberdeenshire Council said: “Flood defences along the riversides in affected areas are working well. Contractors are on site in Kemnay equipped with pumps to ensure the expected impacts are mitigated against as far as is reasonably practical.

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“We continue to monitor the situation in areas across Aberdeenshire in partnership with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, supporting community-led local resilience groups where necessary.”

Caledonian MacBrayne said that due to forecast high winds, its sailings to Canna, and the route between Mallaig and Oban and Lochboisdale, were liable to disruption or cancellation at short notice.

As of 3pm, SEPA had issued 26 flood warnings and 12 flood alerts across the country.

However, as the heavy rainfall eased, two Met Office weather warnings that were in place - an amber warning for persistent rain across the north-east of the country, and a less severe yellow warning for rain across the east coast - were stood down.

The Met Office said that there will be frequent and occasionally heavy showers overnight, with tomorrow set to bring bright and sunny spells with lighter showers.

As the week continues however, conditions look likely to get wetter, with showers forecast through Tuesday and Wednesday, and the risk of more persistent rain for a time on Thursday.

Into the October holidays, it said all parts of the country will see showery spells, as well as periods of more prolonged rainfall. It is expected to be heaviest in the south and west.

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