Scotland

Drivers stuck after rain causes flooding in Scotland

  • 29 November 2011
  • From the section Scotland

Flooding is continuing to cause problems and disruption across much of central, west and southern Scotland after a night of torrential rain.

Homes and businesses have been flooded and roads have been badly hit.

Firefighters rescued 27 children from Abington Primary in South Lanarkshire after a burn burst its banks and water flooded the building.

In some areas people were stuck in their cars for hours as the emergency services worked to clear flood water.

Transport Minister Keith Brown praised drivers and commuters for their patience and said the "testing conditions" were set to continue during the next 24 hours.

He urged people to check the latest travel advice and information before making further journeys.

Image caption Greenock was one of the areas which was badly hit

He added that more heavy rain and strong winds were forecast, and said Transport Scotland's multi-agency response team had been convened and the Scottish government resilience room activated to monitor the situation.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has issued 32 flood warnings across parts of Central Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway, Tayside and the Borders, with a further 14 other areas on flood alert.

David Faichney from the agency said the worst of the rain was over for now but warned that more heavy downfalls were forecast for Wednesday into Thursday.

He told BBC Radio Scotland: "If you look back to last Saturday, we have had over four inches of rain in some areas so things are very wet.

"The areas we are focusing on are the River Forth at Stirling and the River Earn in Tayside, which is actually significantly higher than it has been for some time."

Police earlier issued safety warnings after reports that motorists were ignoring closures and driving on flooded roads.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said crews were dealing with a wide range of flood-related incidents across the region, with Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and Inverclyde among the worst affected areas.

The A8 was closed between Dellingburn Street in Greenock and Main Road in Langbank and the A761 Kilmacolm to Bridge of Weir road was also shut due to flooding.

One motorist stuck on the A8 between the Langbank and Woodhall roundabouts told BBC Scotland he could see flooding in front of and behind him.

He said the emergency services were trying to clear the water but had warned him it might get worse as high tide was due.

Aberdeen woman Tara Todd was among a number of guests stranded at the Holiday Inn hotel on Greenock's seafront.

She told the BBC Scotland news website: "There is 3ft of water inside the hotel, the ground floor is flooded and the first floor has water coming into the rooms.

"The police have told us we can't leave, we need to stay and just wait.

"We are being looked after very well by the staff at the hotel."

Mrs Todd, who was due to travel home for her daughter's birthday on Wednesday, added: "I understand the night staff spotted the flooding problems at about 4am. I slept through the night and the first I realised there was a problem was when I went down to the lobby in the morning."

In South Lanarkshire the northbound A74(M) road was flooded at junction 14 Crawford, with two lanes closed to traffic and delays expected.

In Glasgow, where 42mm (1.65in) of rain fell during a 24-hour period, parts of the underground network were closed for some time but have now reopened.

Image caption Central Scotland was also badly affected by the overnight flooding

In Central Scotland, many roads were closed. The M9 near Stirling was earlier shut to all traffic between Junction 9 and 10.

The River Endrick burst its banks close to the Drymen Bridge, flooding the A811. Police said the weight of the water had caused part of the road to crumble.

Central Scotland Fire and Rescue came to the aid of people who were stuck in their cars because of the flooding. One man had to be rescued from the roof of his van.

Control room staff said the conditions were "absolutely horrendous".

A Central Scotland Police spokeswoman said: "Road closures have been put in place for the safety of all road users.

"Motorists ignoring these closures put themselves and others at risk and may be committing an offence."

Police in Dumfries and Galloway said the whole region was being affected by driving rain and severe gales.

A number of minor roads have been closed because of falling trees and drivers were urged to carefully consider the necessity of their journey.

The Whitesands area in Dumfries is closed.

Severe gales

Gusts of more than 60mph were recorded on the Forth Road Bridge earlier, with restrictions in place for high-sided vehicles.

Image caption Motorists were being advised to drive with extreme care in the difficult conditions

In the Borders, the A68 was blocked for several hours in both directions just north of Earlston because of a fallen tree.

The A721 at Blyth Bridge was also shut for the same reason.

Police and Western Isles' local authority, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, have highlighted Met Office weather warnings for the Highlands and Islands.

The Met Office has issued a "be prepared" warning for late Wednesday into Thursday for parts of the region.

Trains were also disrupted, with no services between Paisley Gilmour Street and Gourock, Paisley Gilmour Street and Wemyss Bay, Largs and Ardrossan South Beach and Dalmuir and Springburn. The Kilmarnock to Dumfries trains were disrupted because of a landslip.

A ScotRail spokeswoman said: "The majority of our services are running. We are monitoring the situation. Replacement buses are being provided where road conditions allow."

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