Scotland

Wind and rain prompt flood and travel alerts

A man holding an umbrella caught by wind Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Bad weather is forecast to cause issues into Sunday

A series of flood alerts have been issued and ferry and train services disrupted after heavy rain and high winds swept across Scotland.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) issued five flood alerts, due to remain in force until Sunday.

They cover Argyll and Bute, Easter Ross, Findhorn, Nairn, Moray, Skye and Lochaber, and Wester Ross.

Rail services in Glasgow were also affected after a tree was blown onto overhead cables at Pollokshields East.

The impact comes as Scots endured a ninth weekend of lockdown measures to stem the spread of coronavirus.

'Gale force'

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged people to adhere to travel restrictions over the bank holiday weekend.

It came ahead of the start of a phased easing from next Thursday.

The Met Office said Saturday would be a windy day across the UK, especially in Scotland, with the west seeing spells of heavy rain.

BBC Scotland weather presenter Christopher Blanchett said it was set to be a wet and windy afternoon for much of the country, with a strong to gale force westerly wind, driving heavy and persistent rain across much of central and west Scotland.

Sepa said: "Localised flooding of low-lying land and roads is possible, with standing water and difficult driving conditions likely.

"River flooding from smaller watercourses is possible and by the end of Saturday some of the larger rivers are likely to be high."

Sepa said it would continue to monitor the situation and further updates would appear on its website if the situation changed.

A number of ferry services have also been disrupted by the weather.

Services have already been pared back by the coronavirus pandemic, however CalMac said some remaining routes had fallen victim to the weekend weather conditions.

All Saturday sailings between Ardrossan and Brodick have been called off, as well as services between Oban, Coll and Tiree.

'Liable to disruption'

The ferry between Tarbert and Lochranza was also cancelled due to winds in excess of 45mph.

Numerous other services were given yellow warnings by CalMac, meaning they were "liable to disruption or cancellation at short notice".

Rail services in Glasgow were also affected, with a tree branch being caught on the overhead electrical wires.

A Network Rail team was sent to Pollokshields East to sort the issue, which delayed several Saturday morning trains.

Operator ScotRail also said high tides were expected at Saltcoats, with affected services between Glasgow Central and Ardrossan Harbour and Largs terminating and starting from Kilwinning instead.

In Aberdeen, police reported more unusual travel issues on Saturday morning with reports of two reindeer on Ellon Road.

However, when they arrived at the Bridge of Don roundabout, they found it was in fact cows.

They were returned to their field.

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