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Amber rain warning extended in parts of Scotland – BBC News



Video caption, HM Coastguard helicopter rescue stranded people

An amber weather has been extended into Sunday afternoon for parts of the north and east of Scotland.

The new warning runs from 21:00 until 14:00 on Sunday.

It covers parts of Angus, Perth and Kinross, Aberdeenshire, Moray and Highland.

Earlier, 10 people had to be airlifted from their vehicles by a coastguard helicopter after seven landslides closed the A83 and the A815 in Argyll.

Police said there were no reports of any injuries. The roads remain closed and drivers are being warned to avoid the area.

The force said it was “responding to the weather impact across Scotland as a major incident”.

The previous amber warning, which covers the west and central Scotland is due to expire at 06:00 on Sunday.

An amber warning means there is potential risk to life and property.

No trains have been running across the border into Scotland due to flooding, with railway lines and roads affected across large parts of the country.

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption, Flooding has affected large parts of the country, including Dumbarton

The Met Office said areas of the Highlands and central Scotland could see up to 180mm (7in) of rain.

It said affected areas included Angus, Ayrshire, Argyll and Bute, and parts of the Highlands, north-east Scotland and the Scottish Borders.

ScotRail said services remain disrupted and some would stop operating at 21:00 on Saturday night.

The rail operator is also warning customers to expect significant disruption on Sunday.

Some areas have seen up to a month’s worth of rain in a 24-hour period resulting in heavy flooding across much of the rail network.

Saturday’s extreme weather saw several lines completely closed, while others operated a reduced service with extended journey times due to speed restrictions put in place to ensure safety.

Earlier, ScotRail cancelled services from Oban, Mallaig and Fort William, from Helensburgh Central and on the Highland Mainline between Perth and Inverness.

And it confirmed that the 1056 Inverness to Kyle train had to turn back at Dingwall due to the amount of water on the line.

Image source, Angharad Lewis

Image caption, Drivers in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, got caught out by the heavy rain
Video caption, BBC Scotland’s Judith Ralston presents the weather forecast

There have been no London North Eastern Railway (LNER) services running north of Newcastle.

Avanti West Coast said it would not run cross-border trains to Scotland on Saturday, with no services north of Preston.

TransPennine advised customers not to travel on trains from Manchester, Liverpool and Preston to Carlisle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Image source, Bear Scotland

Image source, Bear Scotland

Image caption, There have been a number of landslips affecting roads such as this one on the A83
Image caption, The A82 has been flooded

David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery director, said: “We know the impact that disruption to train services following extreme weather can have, but our first priority is always to ensure the safety of our staff and customers. Disruption will continue into Sunday because of the level of extreme rainfall seen in many parts of our network.

“Everyone is working hard to get services back to normal as quickly and safely as possible.

“Customers are advised that they should check their journey before travelling, and keep an eye on our website, app, or social media feeds regularly for live updates.”

A number of lines were closed due to flooding and ScotRail suspended Argyle Line services running through Glasgow Central low-level due to flooding in the Bridgeton area causing a fault with the signalling system.

The Edinburgh – Glasgow Queen Street mainline was closed earlier between Linlithgow and Edinburgh Park due to flooding in the Winchburgh area but has since re-opened.

Police Scotland urged people to avoid all travel unless absolutely necessary.

A number of roads were closed due to flooding and landslides, including the A83 between Target and Inveraray, the A815 between Dunoon and the A83, the A816 between Lochgilphead and Oban and the A85 at Loch Awe.

Video caption, Bales of silage washed away by floods in Inveraray
Video caption, Cow in Caithness stuck in a flooded ditch

Diversions have been put in place. Drivers are being urged to take care on the roads and avoid unnecessary travel.

The Met Office said flooding and fast-flowing rivers and streams could pose a risk to life and damage property.

It said 80-100mm of rain could be expected in most areas, with as much as 150-180mm possible for the wettest spots.

Stein Connelly, from Traffic Scotland, said: “It’s been very challenging conditions…throughout the whole of Scotland, particularly in the Argyll and Bute area, where we have the A815 and the A83 closed at the moment.

“It’s unsafe for the operatives to go in and clear some landslips that we have had their and so this is going to last for quite some time. Reportedly, we have had approximately one months of rain in 24 hours so it has been extremely challenging.

“The police message is avoid travel if you can, especially in Argyll and Bute. In the other areas we are saying it’s a high risk of disruption.

“So if you’re out there, there is a high risk you may be stopped in a flooded area or an accident. We have had a number of minor incidents.”

Image caption, Emergency services could not avoid the flooding – an ambulance became stuck in the Erskine area

Image source, Network Rail

Image caption, Trains have been cancelled due to flooded railway tracks, including this one at Bowling station, between Dalmuir and Helensburgh

In Grangemouth, people were reported to be trapped in a Premier Inn due to severe flooding.

Vincent Fitzsimmons, of Sepa, told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “We are expecting widespread flooding through today, Saturday and into Sunday morning.

“It’s very heavy rain, but it will be relentless for a particularly long period of time.

“This is not just a normal wet autumn day. We are concerned about the possibility of significant flooding.

“There is that amber area, it goes from the western half of the central belt through up into the Highlands.

“There are communities there where we have quite significant concerns.”

He advised people in areas such as Aberfoyle and Aviemore to check for updates and advice on Sepa’s website.

Some football matches were called off, with Premiership games Dundee United v Ross County and Dunfermline Athletic v Arbroath among those postponed.

Image source, Dundee Football Club

Image caption, The Dundee Utd v Ross County game was suspended due to the state of the pitch
Image caption, The BP petrol station on Great Western Road in Glasgow has been flooded

The West Highland line, which operates in Oban, Mallaig and Fort William, were earlier suspended.

Services on the Highland Main Line route between Perth and Inverness also stopped.

Image source, Julie Odell

Image caption, Walkers on the West Highland Way had to put their plans on hold

The West Highland Way has been completely flooded in parts.

Julie Odell and her husband awoke at the Beinglas Campsite in Inverarnan to see “the most crazy floodwaters”.

“What used to be a field with a track to the A82 has overnight turned into a lake,” she said. “The staff are being amazing. We thankfully are in one of their cosy cabins and not camping but have offered our cabin as refuge to any campers.

“Both are track, and the back roads are cut off by flood water. So nobody is going anywhere today and no taxis or cars can come and collect people either.”

She added: “It’s a good atmosphere with everyone looking after each other here and the staff say they’ve never ever seen anything like this before.”

The Scottish government’s resilience room officials met on Saturday to discuss the weather event.

Minister for Resilience Angela Constance said: “As the weather warnings outline, heavy rainfall is expected to continue in many parts of the country into Sunday and some areas will have a month’s worth of rain over the course of the weekend.

“I would urge everyone across the country to heed the travel warnings being issued by Police Scotland and others – in particular, drivers in Argyll and Bute should avoid travel due to the significant disruption across the road network.”

She added: “We are aware that the initial, most severe impacts have been felt by people and businesses in Argyll and Bute, as well as other areas in the west and north of the country.

“Ministers are receiving regular updates on the situation from partners, including Sepa, the Met Office, and Police Scotland as it unfolds.

Police Scotland head of road policing, Ch Supt Hilary Sloan, said: “Our advice is to plan ahead and consider if your journey is really necessary or if it can be delayed until conditions improve.

“Stopping distances can be at least double on wet roads compared to dry conditions, and spray can reduce driver visibility.

“If you need to travel, please drive to the conditions and take extra time for your journey.”

The Scottish government said health and social work staff in Argyll were working with community groups to reach vulnerable people who may need help and the local council would be offering support such as opening up community halls.

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