Travel chaos amid fierce winds and driv­ing rain

Storm Callum shuts A83 at Rest and Be Thank­ful in Ar­gyll and brings mis­ery to trav­ellers on roads, rail­ways and fer­ries across Scot­land

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS - PAUL REOCH pre­och@the­

Storm Callum has wreaked havoc across the coun­try, lead­ing to a land­slip and dis­rup­tion to road, rail and ferry travel.

The fierce winds and driv­ing rain bat­tered most of Scot­land.

In Courier Coun­try, it re­sulted in Huntsam Road, Glen­rothes, be­ing badly flooded along with a warn­ing is­sued by Traf­fic Scot­land to “drive with cau­tion” in other ar­eas of Fife.

Mo­torists were also urged to drive slowly ap­proach­ing the Queens­ferry Cross­ing at around 5pm yes­ter­day due to the bad weather.

One of the worse hit roads was the A83 at Rest and Be Thank­ful, which will be closed over the week­end af­ter 300 tonnes of de­bris fell from the hill­side. This led to a di­ver­sion of al­most 60 miles for mo­torists.

Else­where, rail ser­vices were hit at Salt­coats and ferry ser­vices to the likes of Skye had to be stopped.

Trans­port sec­re­tary Michael Mathe­son said: “The land­slides at the Rest and Be Thank­ful this week have been some of the most chal­leng­ing in re­cent mem­ory both for the com­mu­nity and for the teams work­ing in dif­fi­cult con­di­tions.

“I saw for my­self this morn­ing the size of the chal­lenge with sec­ondary slips com­pli­cat­ing mat­ters and de­lay­ing use of the Old Mil­i­tary Road di­ver­sion route.

“It is a dy­namic sit­u­a­tion on the hill­side.”

Met Of­fice me­te­o­rol­o­gist Ai­dan McGivern said there was a risk of 70mph gusts for ex­posed parts of north-west Scot­land into this morn­ing.

Thou­sands of house­holds were left with­out power and dozens of flights were grounded af­ter Storm Callum hit the UK and Ire­land in the early hours of yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Winds of more than 70mph buf­feted Ire­land, North­ern Ire­land and the west coast of Bri­tain along with tor­ren­tial rain.

The high­est winds of the morn­ing were 77mph, recorded at 7am at Capel Curig in Gwynedd, north Wales, with 76mph gusts in the Scilly Isles and 64mph at RNAS Cul­drose in Corn­wall.

Hol­i­day­mak­ers faced a morn­ing of travel chaos, with dozens of flights can­celled at Cardiff, Dublin, Belfast and Ex­eter air­ports.

Ire­land was badly hit by the storm, with 20,000 homes and busi­ness left with­out power yes­ter­day morn­ing.

The Met Of­fice has is­sued an am­ber warn­ing of risk to life for South Wales due to heavy rain, while the rest of the west coast is un­der a yel­low wind warn­ing for to­day.

A spokesman for the Met Of­fice said some parts of Wales could have more rain to­mor­row than they would ex­pect in the whole of Oc­to­ber. He added some high ar­eas in South Wales could have up to 200mm of rain by to­mor­row when the monthly to­tal is 169mm.

The En­vi­ron­ment Agency has is­sued two flood warn­ings across the south coast of Eng­land as well as more than 20 flood alerts.

Mean­while, soldiers tak­ing part in a gru­elling an­nual ex­er­cise had the added ob­sta­cle of Storm Callum to con­tend with yes­ter­day. The Cam­brian Pa­trol event, held in the Black Moun­tains of mid Wales and hosted by the 160 In­fantry Brigade, was made all the more dif­fi­cult as soldiers were ex­posed to strong winds and heavy rain.

Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages.

A wind­surfer makes the most of the con­di­tions off Barassie Beach in Troon.

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