Large parts of Scotland on flood alert as heavy rain continues

Parts of eastern and central Scotland are bracing themselves for floods as heavy rain continues to batter the country.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has issued 20 flood warnings across an area stretching from Aberdeenshire to Dumfries and Galloway as forecasters predict a second day of downpours.

Richard Brown, SEPA's Head of Hydrology, said: "Due to persistent and heavy rain over many parts of Scotland there is a widespread flood risk. The heaviest rainfall is expected to be in Stirlingshire, Perthshire, Angus, South Aberdeenshire, Central, the Southern Uplands and an area just to the north of Glasgow. The rain will be accompanied by strong to gale force south-easterly winds.

"There is a risk of river flooding for Tayside, Dundee, Angus, Aberdeenshire, Lothians, Fife, Scottish Borders and Argyll and Bute. Impacts in these areas could include flooding to land and roads.

"There is also a coastal flood risk for the latter part of Thursday and throughout Friday for the northern, Moray and eastern coastlines including Stonehaven and Orkney. Disruption is possible in areas where defences were damaged over last weekend."

Drivers have faced difficult road conditions, with the A9 closed on Thursday at Kindochallan, between Dunkeld and Pitlochry, to allow firefighters to pump out water that cascaded down off the hillsides.

At higher ground snow has been causing problems, with winds creating blizzard conditions in remote spots.

Ferry services to Orkney and Shetland were cancelled on Thursday night, with Friday's sailings also at risk from the weather.

Sepa has put flood warnings in place for Finavon and Tannadice, Kinnaird/ Bridge of Dun, Broughty Ferry, Dundee Central, Riverside West, Camptown to Jedburgh, Galashiels, Kirkcaldy, Aberbothrie, Ballanluig to Logierait, Bridge of Ruthven to Leitfie, Carse of Lennoch to Lochlane, Crieff to Innerpeffray, Grandtully Bridge to Logierait Viaduct, Innerpeffray to Bridge of Earn, Kemphill to Bridge of Isla, Taymouth Castle to Boat of Cluny and the River Isla at Coupar Angus.

Thirteen more general flood alerts have been issued covering Dundee and Angus, Fife, Tayside, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City, Argyll and Bute, Caithness and Sutherland, Central, Edinburgh and Lothians, Findhorn Nairn Moray and Speyside, Orkney, the Scottish Borders, Shetland and west-central Scotland.

STV weatherman Sean Batty said: "Bands of rain are expected to stall over Scotland in the coming days bringing an awful lot of rain for many areas and the risk of flooding.

"The strongest winds will be felt in the north and east with gale force winds at times."

Tayside Police appealed to drivers to take the utmost care in challenging and difficult driving conditions.

A spokesman said: "Allow plenty of time for your journey, reduce your speed and drive according to the conditions. This includes keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front and using dipped headlights where appropriate.

"Large puddles and pools of water are likely to collection roads in both rural and urban areas. Drivers are warned to slow down when approaching standing water to avoid risks of aquaplaning. If you do experience aquaplaning, hold the steering wheel lightly and lift off the throttle until the tyres regain grip. Always be considerate of nearby pedestrians."

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