Travel chaos amid fierce winds and driving rain
WEATHER: Storm Callum shuts A83 at Rest and Be Thankful in Argyll and brings misery to travellers on roads, railways and ferries across Scotland
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.
A windsurfer makes the most of the conditions off Barassie Beach in Troon.