Clean-up begins after flooding devastates much of Scotland

A clean-up has begun after flooding devastated much of Scotland, with some regions experiencing one month’s rain in 24 hours.

A rescue helicopter evacuated drivers trapped on the A83 on Saturday, after the road was hit by seven landslides with 2,000 tonnes of debris descending on the road.

Amber alerts issued by Sepa remained for Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City, Argyll and Bute, Central, Dundee and Angus, Easter Ross and Great Glen, Skye and Lochaber, and Tayside.

The Met Office downgraded its warning to yellow, until 7pm on Sunday, but 54 flood warnings issued by Sepa remain.

The River Spey overflowed at Kingussie near Aviemore (Jane Barlow/PA)

The area around the A83 Rest and Be Thankful saw a month’s worth of rainfall, around 160mm, falling over 36 hours, according to BEAR Scotland, which manages the road.

Some roads remained closed but Bowling Railway Station, West Dunbartonshire, which was swamped with flowing water on Saturday, appeared to have drained away in photos shared by Network Rail.

A Tesco car park at Oban, Argyll and Bute, was overwhelmed by floodwater, and bus passengers were said to have taken refuge overnight at Lochgilphead High School, also in Oban.

Sand bags and road closures were in place in Kingussie near Aviemore, the Highlands, amid a severe warning.

Meanwhile, “unseasonable warmth” was expected to peak at around 25C in southern and central England on Sunday or Monday.

Met Office chief meteorologist Neil Armstrong said: “Prolonged heavy rain is causing widespread disruption for much of Scotland.

“The heaviest and most disruptive rain has been affecting western and central Scotland so far, but as our recent warnings indicate this heavy rain will also affect areas to the north and east.

“Within the Amber warning areas 60-80mm of rain is likely, with 180mm or more in total for some of the wettest spots across Argyll.

“Rain is expected to slowly clear to the north during Sunday.”

Ian Stewart, BEAR Scotland’s north-west representative, said, “This extreme weather has caused widespread disruption, with Argyll significantly affected.

“Our teams are beginning clear-up operations to return full access to residents of Argyll, but conditions are still difficult, and we need to ensure that those on site are safe. As such, it is unlikely the A83 will reopen today.

“We are also continuing to work as part of the Argyll and Bute Resilience Partnership to assess road closures and incidents in the area.”

Autumn weather October 8th 2023
The flooded Dell sports field in Kingussie near Aviemore (Jane Barlow/PA)

“Our teams have been working around the clock with Scottish Government and the Met Office in the lead into and across this major weather event. The focus continues to turn to communities across the North, with a particular concern for severe flood impacts to communities along the Spey and Tay rivers.

“It’s a day to stay alert, not stand down. The risk to life remains.”

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