Danger-to-life warning as Storm Callum hits Scotland
SCOTLAND is bracing for torrential downpours and the possibility of life-threatening floods today after Storm Callum brought travel chaos to the country.
The bad weather hit yesterday, with the strongest gusts of 68mph felt in Dundrennan, Dumfries and Galloway.
Journeys by air, rail, sea and road were all disrupted.
The Met Office has said that a “danger to life” warning remains for Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders, even though the storm is moving north overnight.
The warning, which is in place for the whole of today, is for rain that could result in flooding to homes and businesses, causing damage to some buildings.
A Met Office spokesman said: “While Storm Callum moves away, another low is developing bringing further wet and potentially windy weather on Saturday.
“For Scotland it will be a north and south divide, with the heaviest and most persistent rain generally across southern parts of the country.”
The warning says that “fast flowing or deep floodwater is possible, causing danger to life”. The Met Office also warns of potential power cuts and possible delays or cancellations to train and bus services.
Yesterday evening, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency had two flood warnings and 10 flood alerts in force.
There were also closures or restrictions on seven road bridges, with some trains cancelled on coastal routes.
Fresh landslips caused by the storm will also keep the Rest and Be Thankful closed over the weekend.
Heavy rain and strong winds brought 300 tonnes of debris from the hillside onto the A83 in Argyll and Bute yesterday as workers tried to clear landslips from earlier in the week.
Another 50 tons ended up on the Old Military Road.
The closure caused a long diversion for motorists and, even though the weather is expected to improve over the weekend, Bear Scotland said the A83 would remain shut.
Transport secretary Michael Matheson, who visited the area, 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.
“It is a dynamic situation on the hillside, there are warnings of further heavy rain and while every effort is being made to get traffic moving, today’s events reinforce the need for a safety first approach.
“I understand that local residents and businesses are being inconvenienced as a result of these events and I would like to thank them for their patience during the disruption.”
Calmac Ferries warned passengers to check before travelling and all of its sailings were disrupted yesterday with 15 services suspended due to the storm.
Ten flights – five arrivals and five departures – were cancelled at Glasgow Airport as it geared up for the October half-term break. The airport said most were to the Highland and Islands, with one cancellation to Bristol and one to London Gatwick.
An airport spokesman said: “We have experienced some weather disruption and a small number of cancellations.”
Network Rail is anticipating significant rainfall today and said it would be monitoring known flood risk areas. Rapid response teams will be on stand-by.
The torchlight procession for the Dunoon Mod 2018, scheduled to take place yesterday evening, was cancelled due to the weather. The coastguard also urged the public to avoid exposed coastal areas, tweeting that a photo or video clip “is not worth risking your life for”.
Elsewhere in the UK, thousands of people were left without power with the highest winds being 77mph at Capel Curig, Wales.
Travel by air, rail, sea and road were all disrupted
David Anderson from Glasgow with his niece Lauren Anderson on the seafront at Largs as the storm blew in yesterday.
Waves crash against the sea wall at Saltcoats.
The Calmac ferry MV Loch Shira between Largs and Great Cumbrae.
Shoppers struggle through Glasgow.