Scotland braced for return of Storm Desmond

As devastated communities continue sifting through the silty waterlogged debris of homes destroyed by flooding during Storm Desmond, forecasters have warned that more torrential downpours and strong winds are on the way.

A man is helped out of his van after the River Teviot in Hawick. Picture: PA
A man is helped out of his van after the River Teviot in Hawick. Picture: PA

Disruption to travel services is also expected as bucketing rain is compounded by gale-force winds in many places.

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for severe weather across much of the country. Alerts for heavy rain are in place everywhere except Orkney and Shetland, while many regions will be buffeted by gusts reaching up to 70mph.

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The Hebrides are expected to take the worst battering from the wind, with ferry services likely to be affected.

Damage caused to a roadway that was viewed by Scottish environment minister Aileen McLeod during her visit to the Borders town of Hawick. Picture: PA

Scottish environment minister Aileen McLeod has visited the Borders town where more than 600 people were forced to feel their homes at the weekend after the River Teviot burst its banks.

She said the community spirit displayed in Hawick was one “all of Scotland can be proud of”.

But with more wet weather coming, she said Scots should prepare for ongoing disruption to transport and services.

Hawick does not currently have a flood prevention scheme in place, although it is next in line in the Scottish Borders for such work to be carried out.

Over the last seven years £42 million of Scottish Government cash has helped councils across the country improve flood protection, with work being funded in Forres, Galashiels, Inverness, Selkirk, Brechin, Almondbank and Greenock.

Ms McLeod said it was “important we recognise the impact of our significant investment in protecting people’s homes and livelihoods from such extreme conditions”.

She added: “I also want to pay tribute to the many volunteers who by offering food, transport and support to their neighbours showed a community spirit that all of Scotland can be proud of.”

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She thanked members of the emergency services who “have been working round the clock to help those most in need”.