Scottish Daily Mail

Homes on f lood alert

Down­pours and storms leave rivers un­der threat

- By Laura Lam­bert

SCOT­LAND was on flood alert last night af­ter days of high winds and tor­ren­tial down­pours left swollen rivers across the coun­try on the brink of burst­ing their banks.

Hav­ing en­dured a bat­ter­ing from Storm Abi­gail and the rem­nants of Hur­ri­cane Kate, the rain-lashed coun­try faced warn­ings of a se­ri­ous risk to homes and roads from the flood­wa­ters.

Fore­cast­ers said Bri­tain suf­fered its heav­i­est week­end rain­fall since 2009’s Cum­bria floods, when a record 12in fell and floods up to 8ft deep saw 1,300 homes un­der wa­ter, £276mil­lion of dam­age, a po­lice­man killed and weeks of trans­port chaos af­ter bridges col­lapsed.

The Met Of­fice said it ex­pected hills away from weather sta­tions to have seen up to 4in of rain in South-West Scot­land.

The first Arc­tic blast of the win­ter is set to sweep in by the end of the week, bring­ing heavy snow show­ers and sub-zero tem­per­a­tures to large swathes of the North.

Be­fore then, the Met Of­fice said Scot­land was ‘not out of the woods’ and warned of more washouts.

Yes­ter­day, travel was dis­rupted as a deep area of low pres­sure blew in from the At­lantic, bring­ing wide­spread prob­lems with se­vere gale force winds to many parts and gusts of 70 to 80mph in the Outer He­brides, the High­lands and Orkney and Shet­land.

There are fears the cold, blus­tery weather could cause rush-hour chaos in parts of the Cen­tral Belt, al­ready sat­u­rated af­ter heavy week­end rain. Yes­ter­day, it brought mo­tor­ways to a stand­still with flood­ing and sur­face wa­ter. The M8 into Glas­gow was sub­ject to a 40mph speed limit while the A737 at Beith, Ayr­shire, was closed af­ter a blocked drain caused flood­ing.

The A77 at Girvan, Ayr­shire, was only just pass­able in both di­rec­tions due to the ex­treme con­di­tions and The Forth Bridge was re­duced to 40mph due to heavy fog yes­ter­day morn­ing.

An early ca­su­alty of the weather was yes­ter­day’s switch-on of Glas­gow’s Christ­mas lights in Ge­orge Square, which was can­celled.

On Fri­day the Scot­tish En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion Agency is­sued seven flood warn­ings and nine flood alerts, with con­cerns high over ris­ing wa­ter in the rivers Lyon and Earn. Flood warn­ings were in place in Pol­lok Coun­try Park, in the heart of Glas­gow’s south side, as well as parts of Tayside and Dum­fries and Galloway.

Sand­bags were used to pro­tect prop­er­ties in Lam­lash on Ar­ran. Streets on Colon­say and Is­lay were af­fected too.

Fore­cast­ers said the un­sea­son­ably mild weather will be abruptly ended this week by a cold snap. Met Of­fice fore­caster Peter Sloss said: ‘[Arc­tic air] will bring snow show­ers in the North down to the low lev­els. It will be a lot colder than it has been so far.’

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