Snow and heavy rain across Midlothian and the Borders leaves drivers struggling

image captionThe road between Penicuik and Edinburgh was badly affected

Unexpected snow showers and flooding across Midlothian and parts of the Borders have caused major transport problems.

Gritters were sent out on Thursday evening but drivers reported long delays affecting many roads.

Some routes were closed to allow snowploughs to free trapped vehicles and to clear the carriageway.

In Jedburgh, part of the high street was evacuated after a tributary of the River Teviot burst its banks.

Routes in Penicuik, Gorebridge and Straiton were among those affected and all the major routes through the Borders, the A1, A7 and the A68, were badly hit.

The fire service said some vehicles became stuck in the snow in places and fire engines had difficulty reaching emergency calls.

image copyrightHawick Royal Albert
image captionHawick Royal Albert's football ground, Albert Park, was under water on Thursday night

A fire engine crashed into a number of cars in Gorebridge, Midlothian, due to the conditions, but no one was injured.

Police and council officials said they dealt with multiple calls from motorists experiencing difficulties.

Traffic Scotland urged drivers to take extra care on the A702 because of heavy snow.

Cars were also stuck for several hours on the A701 and there were reports that some were abandoning their vehicles.

image copyrightTraffic Scotland

Further flooding was a problem and the fire service said Jedburgh was particularly badly hit.

A man had to rescued from the roof of his car after being trapped by flood water.

Special water rescue teams were deployed and a Scottish Borders emergency office opened to deal with the spike in incidents.

Council emergency planners deployed sandbag teams to rivers across areas including Jedburgh, Hawick, Peebles and Selkirk.

Jim Fraser, Scottish Borders Council's emergency planning officer, said: "This was a challenging situation with very poor weather conditions across the Scottish Borders.

"Our ability to respond quickly along with our partners in the emergency services allowed us to manage the situation effectively and efficiently.

"It was particularly pleasing to see the speed of response within communities, notably in Jedburgh, Selkirk and Hawick.

"The response highlighted the importance of the Resilient Community initiative and the work of volunteers to support the more vulnerable within our communities is invaluable."

Scottish Environment Protection Agency flood alerts are in place for the Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Edinburgh and the Lothians, Central and Tayside

image captionA wintry scene in Penicuik on Thursday evening

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