More floods and stormy seas set to blight Christmas travel plans

Flood warnings will remain in place for large parts of the country over the weekend as more heavy rain is forecast.

Firefighters spent much of Thursday night and Friday clearing water away from properties across Fife and Tayside, with a number of people having to be rescued from their cars.

Two families were evacuated from their homes in Cupar, Fife, after the River Eden burst its banks on Friday, forcing homeowners and businesses in the area to put out sandbags.

Fife Fire and Rescue service said the affected families were being rehoused by the council.

Ferry services to the Northern Isles have been disrupted because of rough seas, with passengers from Aberdeen to Orkney and Shetland having to travel via Scrabster over the Christmas weekend.

Loganair and Flybe have scheduled extra flights to Shetland on Saturday to cater for people who have been unable to travel because of cancellations to the ferries.

Serco NorthLink Ferries cancelled Friday and Saturday's sailings from Aberdeen and arranged buses to Scrabster to allow people to take the alternative route to Orkney.

“We understand this is hugely disappointing for customers hoping to travel for the festive season,” managing director Stuart Garrett said .

“However our priority is the safety of our passengers and crew and we will not sail unless it is safe to do so.”

In Comrie, Perthshire, which was flooded last month, the Water of Ruchill again burst its banks, but recently installed flood defences held the water at bay from the village, Perth and Kinross council said.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has 18 flood warnings in place across the Borders, Tayside and Aberdeenshire, but the worst of the weather seems to have passed in coastal communities such as Stonehaven and Berwick, which were badly damaged by severe storms last weekend.

Richard Brown, head of hydrology at Sepa, said: "While we expect the rain and wind to ease on Friday, flood alerts and warnings will remain in place in anticipation of further wet weather over the weekend.

"Due to the forecast of heavy rainfall, the risk remains of potential flooding in areas of central and eastern Scotland which have been saturated by the recent weather.

"Some areas on the east coast may experience wave overtopping before the worst of the weather becomes confined to the extreme north of the country.

The Met Office has amber "be prepared" weather warnings in place over the weekend.

Drivers have been reminded to take care on the roads in the wet and windy conditions. The warning comes as two drivers were stopped for allegedly driving at around 100mph on the M8 last night during what police described as extremely poor conditions.

Superintendent Jim Baird said: "If you drive in excess of the speed limit you risk not just your life but other road users' lives also. To do so in such poor weather and road conditions is just plain dangerous and is unacceptable."

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