More flooding and heavy rain cause disruption to Christmas travel

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 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."

Motorists are also experiencing disruption caused by the severe weather, as flooding has led to road closures and surface water in Aberdeenshire, Tayside, Fife, Perthshire and the Highlands. ScotRail was also forced to bring in replacement buses after flooding affected train lines between Stirling and Dunblane on Saturday afternoon.

Supplies

Meanwhile, retailer Tesco has chartered a Hercules freight plane to take food supplies to Shetland.

The aircraft will fly from Norway to Edinburgh. The supermarket said it planned to run two supply flights on Saturday and two more on Sunday.

Store manager Paul Clelland said: "It is an opportunity for us to use our scale to do something for the public in Shetland.

"Obviously it is going to be expensive, but it is the right thing to do."

In Comrie, Perthshire, which was flooded in November, 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 17 flood warnings in place across Angus, Tayside and Aberdeenshire.

Richard Brown, head of hydrology at Sepa, said: "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."

Alerts

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

Chief forecaster Nick Grahame said: "With more rain due this weekend, a number of severe weather warnings are in place for Scotland.

"It's important that people keep weather-aware by staying up to date with Met Office forecasts during this period of unsettled weather.

"We'd advise people in the areas affected to expect some disruption and take precautions if they are in an area at risk from heavy rain and flooding."

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."

For up-to-date flood alerts in your area, visit Sepa's flood updates page

Traffic Scotland's current incidents page has details of ongoing disruption caused by flooding and surface water.

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