Storm Dennis: Scottish weather warning upgrades to amber with 'danger to life'

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Heavy rain and strong winds are expected to blast the country for the remainder of this week as storm Dennis hits.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for parts of Scotland where severe flooding is likely causing 'danger to life.'

Areas affected include Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders where "very heavy rain" is expected to fall.

Warnings are also in place for strong winds and rain across most of Scotland including Edinburgh, Glasgow, and most of the West Coast.

READ MORE: Scottish village endures the coldest night of the year
Disruptions to travel are expected across the country and anyone wishing to drive or use public transport is advised to travel with caution.

Power cuts and loss of other services to homes and businesses is likely during these stormy weather conditions.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for parts of Scotland where severe flooding is likely causing 'danger to life'   PICTURE: JPI Media and Met Office

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for parts of Scotland where severe flooding is likely causing 'danger to life' PICTURE: JPI Media and Met Office

Amber Warnings

The amber warning is in place from midday tomorrow until midnight for southern Scotland with yellow warnings for wind and rain across the rest of the country are in place from tomorrow through to Monday.

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The fourth named storm of the 2019-20 season, Dennis, is set to bring a second consecutive weekend of wet and windy weather after Ciara struck the UK with winds of up to 97mph.

A Met Office spokeswoman said: "Spells of heavy and prolonged rain are expected to affect southern Scotland during Saturday, particularly through the afternoon. Around 15-25 mm of rain will fall widely with 30-40 mm possible, this will combine with snow melt exacerbating the impacts.

"There's a potential for very strong winds to develop in association with Storm Dennis.

"The location and strength of the strongest winds is uncertain at this stage, but there is a small chance that winds will gust up to 70 mph for a time.

"More typically winds will gusts to 50 mph at times. The strongest winds could also coincide with the Monday morning peak travel period."

Several fatalities were recorded during storm Ciara including a 77-year-old man from Clydebank who died after falling and banging his head during icy weather.

Traffic Disruption

Police said there is a high risk of disruption to the transport network and potential for problems with flooding and power supplies.

A multi-agency response team will operate on Saturday at the Traffic Scotland National Control Centre in South Queensferry to monitor conditions.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “The Met Office is expecting Storm Dennis to bring another period of adverse weather this weekend, with heavy rain and strong winds forecast for much of Saturday and Sunday, and into Monday morning.

“The conditions will bring potential for disruption on the trunk road network, as well as other modes of transport, so it’s important people plan their journeys before they set off.

“Motorists should make sure their routes are available, follow the travel advice from Police Scotland and drive to the conditions. “

He added: “Details of any wind-based closures for the bridges on trunk road network are available from the Traffic Scotland service.

“If you are planning to travel by train, ferry or plane, please check with your operators to see if the conditions are having any impact on your services.”

Sergeant Iain Blain from Police Scotland said: “We are advising motorists who will be travelling in affected areas to travel with caution.

“There is a high risk of disruption, with localised flooding expected, and we urge drivers to drive to the conditions of the road.

“Be prepared to slow down and drive at speeds that appropriate for the conditions. Plan your journey in advance and allow extra time.

“You can keep up to date with weather and road information by following the Met Office and Traffic Scotland on social media.”

Mark McLaughlin, flood duty manager for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, said the storm would bring flooding risks across much of the country, with the most widespread impact expected across Dumfries and Galloway, the Scottish Borders, Ayrshire, Arran and west central Scotland.

He added: “We are also expecting to see significant coastal flood impacts on the west coast, in particular in the Solway Firth and along the Ayrshire coast due to high tides, storm surge and large waves.”

SP Energy Networks, the electricity distributor for central and southern Scotland, said flooding on roads could make it difficult for engineers to reach faults in the network.

Craig Arthur, director at SP Energy Networks for central and southern Scotland, said power cuts become more likely during storms and encouraged people to have a battery powered torch and fully charged mobile on hand over the weekend.

The storm is also likely to cause severe disruption for ferry services.

Robert Morrison, director of operations for CalMac, said the weather will impact the company’s ability to deliver services to island communities and the public should be prepared for possible cancellations and delays across all routes.