Severe flood warnings as heavy rain hits Scotland
Two severe flood warnings have been issued in Aberdeenshire, as eastern Scotland continues to suffer heavy rain.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has issued severe flood warnings, which mean danger to life, for Inverurie and Kintore.
Police are advising motorists in some areas to only travel if "essential".
Aberdeenshire Council said it was dealing with an "escalating emergency response situation".
Sepa said the River Don had reached the highest water level on record. It is expected to burst its banks in the early hours of the morning.
Richard Brown, head of hydrology for Sepa, said water levels around the river were "pretty exceptional".
He said: "We have had a gauging station up at Alford for the last 42 years and it has exceeded anything we have ever recorded. So that water obviously has to work its way downstream."
Aberdeen City Council officials advised those living in lower residential areas near the river, particularly those in the Grandholm area, to seriously consider evacuating their homes.
Sepa said properties at risk of flooding include some already inundated earlier this week, particularly in the village of Port Elphinstone.
Aberdeen Airport was closed after a hole appeared in the runway, causing some flights to be diverted. Repairs are being carried out.
The hole, in the touchdown zone, was said to be small and believed to have been caused by heavy rain.
The runway was temporarily shortened to allow smaller aircraft to take off but all arrivals were cancelled for the remainder of Thursday.
The airport said it lost about 20 arriving and 15 departing flights on Thursday as a result of weather and the impact on the runway.
An airport spokeswoman said: "Weather permitting, we anticipate full operations being available by tomorrow morning."
More than 20 Aberdeenshire schools will be closed or partially closed on Friday due to the severe conditions.
Roads across Tayside, Angus and Aberdeenshire have been affected by flooding and police are advising only essential journeys.
North east police tweeted: "Please don't travel by car tonight. Folk are getting trapped in their cars in flooded areas. Check weather reports overnight and in the am."
- In Huntly 21 residents were evacuated from the Meadows Care Home near the River Deveron and 25 residents were evacuated from the Woodside Care Home in Aberdeen
- Flood gates were closed in Stonehaven where residents fear the River Carron could burst its banks
- Roads across the region are affected by flood waters - many are closed but police say drivers should exercise extreme caution across the north east
- Rest centres have been set up at Inverurie Academy, Kintore Community Hall, Bridge of Don academy and Mackie Academy in Stonehaven
- Aberdeenshire Council reported more than two dozen school closures and changes to school transport for pupils due to the adverse weather
- There were no trains running between Aberdeen and Dundee
- Fyvie in Aberdeenshire has recorded its wettest January on record - just one week into the month it has seen 144.8mm (5.7in) of rain
- Glenbervie Primary in Aberdeenshire was closed after its roof was damaged and there was flooding in classrooms
- Residents with a private water supply which could have been affected by flood water advised to drink bottled water
- A mother and her children were rescued through the windows of their car after it got stuck in floods in Killiecrankie
An Aberdeenshire Council statement said: "There is a possibility both the Deveron and Banff Bridges may have to be closed for safety reasons and road conditions throughout the area are changing rapidly, with a significant number of road closures and difficult conditions in many places.
"Sandbags are being deployed to affected areas for collection. People are advised to stay away from flood water and not to take unnecessary risks."
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: "The situation in Kintore and Inverurie and along the River Don in particular is extremely serious, with severe flood warnings now in place. The impact of this latest round of flooding is causing transport difficulties and putting properties at risk of flooding."
"Heavy and prolonged rain" is expected in the Grampian and Central, Tayside and Fife regions.
An amber warning for rain, issued by the Met Office, is in place - meaning there is an increased likelihood of weather causing transport disruption and delays, as well as interruption to power and the potential risk to life and property.
Additional yellow warnings for snow and ice are in place in the Strathclyde and Dumfries, Galloway, Lothian and the Borders regions.
Snow is expected to fall on Thursday night on ground above 200m across the far north and most of Grampian. It is expected to exacerbate already difficult travelling conditions on higher road routes.
Richard Brown, from Sepa, said the saturated conditions across Aberdeenshire, Tayside and Angus meant there was a likelihood of significant flooding overnight.
He said: "We don't expect river levels to peak until the middle of the night, so things will continue to deteriorate."
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