Advice not to travel in some areas as resilience committee meets.
People are being urged to avoid travel by road in Argyll and Bute and to consider carefully travel in other areas most impacted by the weekend’s severe rainfall.
SEPA has indicated up to a month’s worth of rain could fall in some areas over the course of the weekend. Rainfall is causing significant disruption in parts of Scotland, including road closures and rail service cancellations.
On Saturday afternoon the Met Office issued an Amber Warning for rain extending across Angus, Perth and Kinross, Aberdeenshire, Moray and Highland until 2pm on Sunday.
In Argyll and Bute, the Local Resilience Partnership has established a Care for People Sub-Group, led by the local Health and Social Care Partnership, which is working to identify and reach vulnerable people that may be difficult to reach, with assistance from the voluntary sector. Argyll and Bute Council is assisting by contacting community groups in affected areas with a view to initiating local support, such as opening up community halls.
On Friday the Met Office issued an amber warning for rain, covering Inverclyde, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, East and West Dunbartonshire, Argyll and Lochaber, parts of Stirling, Perthshire, Aberdeenshire and the Highlands. It is in place until 6 am on Sunday. Yellow warnings for rain remain in place for other large parts the country and are updated on the Met Office website.
The greatest impacts earlier on Saturday were experienced in Inverclyde, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, East and West Dunbartonshire, Argyll and Lochaber, parts of Stirling, Perthshire, Aberdeenshire and the Highlands. In Argyll and Bute, several roads have been closed due to flooding and landslides, including:
- the A83 between Tarbet and Inverary
- the A815 between Dunoon and the A83
- the A816 between Lochgiphead and Oban
- the A85 at Loch Awe
Road operating companies are assisting Police Scotland with the closures and clear up operations, however due to the continuing rainfall it will not be possible to make an assessment of the landslides or undertake clear up operations until conditions improve.
Network Rail has reported many incidents of severe flooding across the network, resulting in widespread cancellations to services. This includes suspension of services between Inverness and Perth. Services running across the whole ScotRail network have been cancelled, delayed or revised.
On Saturday afternoon Justice Secretary and Minister for Resilience Angela Constance chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government’s Resilience Committee (SGoRR), which was attended by First Minister Humza Yousaf, Transport Secretary Màiri McAllan, Transport Minister Fiona Hyslop and key responder agencies.
They discussed the immediate response to the local impacts, as well as further actions being taken to support those communities most affected.
Ms 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.
“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. This afternoon I convened SGoRR in recognition of the severity of the situation which will continue to develop over the next 24 hours.
“I am grateful for the efforts of partners and volunteers to help the public stay safe and where possible to restore services.
“Anyone seeking live updates should follow these partners organisations on social media, and can also consult the Ready Scotland website for general advice.”
Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Tim Mairs said:
“Officers have been dealing with significant disruption on the roads caused by the heavy rainfall and we would expect this to continue into Sunday.
“It is important that we do everything we can to keep people safe and officers are out in communities helping those who need us.
“Our advice is to plan ahead and consider if your journey is really necessary or if it can be delayed until conditions improve. If you need to travel, please drive to the conditions and take extra time for your journey.”
Vincent Fitzsimons, Flood Duty Manager for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), said:
“SEPA has issued Regional Flood Alerts and more locally specific Flood Warnings across Scotland due to the major rainfall event that is bringing prolonged, heavy rain throughout the day and into Sunday. I want to be very clear that this is not a normal Autumn day for Scotland. We’re expecting extensive river and surface water flooding in affected areas. There is a danger to life. There will be widespread impacts to road and rail. There is a risk of more significant community scale property flooding.
“Rain will move across central and western parts this morning, moving northwards through the day. Many areas will see heavy rain for well over 24hrs before it clears on Sunday. Of particular concern are communities in the amber area that extends from west central Scotland northwards.
“Further Local Flood Warnings are likely to be issued, people can always check our Flood Updates for all the latest information. We advise people living, working and travelling in the affected areas to consider any steps they need to take now to be prepared for flooding impacts and consider whether their journey is necessary.”
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) issues flood alerts and warnings for Scotland. View the latest updates on their website.
Advice on preparing for severe weather can be found on the Ready Scotland website.
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