Dan­ger-to-life warn­ing as Storm Cal­lum hits Scot­land

The Herald - - FRONT PAGE - MARTIN WIL­LIAMS SE­NIOR NEWS RE­PORTER

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

Pic­ture: Colin Mearns

„ 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.

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