Police use drones to search for missing man swept into river

Police Scotland are using drones to search for an elderly man reported missing from the Strathtay area on Sunday.

Police Scotland use drones to search for missing man swept into River Tay near Strathtay after extreme rain PA Media

Rescuers looking for an elderly man reported missing in a river are using drones as searches continue.

Heavy rain swept Scotland over the weekend, causing flooding and transport disruption across the country.

A search operation was launched at about 5pm on Sunday after police received a report of concern for a 77-year-old man seen in the River Tay, near Strathtay, and resumed on Monday morning.

On Monday afternoon, Police Scotland said specialist resources including a police helicopter and drones were being used to search for him.

A spokesperson for the force, said: “Searches are continuing to trace a 77-year-old man swept into the River Tay, near Strathtay.

“The incident was reported around 5.30pm on Sunday, and a multi-agency response was set up with partners.

“Conditions on the River Tay remain challenging and specialist resources are being used, including drones and the Police Scotland helicopter, to find the missing man.”

River levels were high near Aviemore.PA Media

Flood warnings remain in place in many parts of Scotland, according to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).

Two severe flood warnings were in place in Aviemore/Dalfaber and Perth on Monday, while 34 flood warnings and 10 flood alerts were in place elsewhere around the country.

A yellow weather warning for rain is in place for the west of Scotland on Tuesday, but more severe amber warnings that had been in place over the weekend have been lifted by the Met Office.

The A83 between the Rest and Be Thankful and Inverary, Argyll and Bute, has closed for work to remove debris from landslips.

Six further landslips were identified as a result of the work, Bear Scotland confirmed on Monday.

The road maintenance firm said it had removed 9500 tonnes of debris from the A83 so far, with a further approximate 2,000 tonnes on the hillside likely to need removing before the road can safely open.

Landslip on the A83 between the Rest and Be Thankful and Inverary in Argyll & Bute.Bear Scotland

The area around the Rest and Be Thankful experienced around a month’s worth of rainfall, about 160mm, in 36 hours.

Heavy rain caused flooding in many areas over the weekend, leading to road closures and train cancellations which continued into Monday.

Network Rail Scotland said the line between Dunblane and Perth will remain closed on Tuesday while it works to repair a “huge amount” of flood damage, but said on X, formerly known as Twitter, it was anticipated that the line would reopen by mid-morning on Wednesday.

Police Scotland said communities “faced some of the most challenging conditions ever” over the weekend, with 10 motorists airlifted to safety on Saturday due to landslides on the A83 in Argyll and Bute, which dislodged 2,000 tonnes of debris. Another four were airlifted in Kilmartin, Argyll and Bute.

Ruth Ellis, Scottish Environment Protection Agency flood duty manager, said: “It’s been a difficult weekend across Scotland, with severe weather causing widespread travel disruption to road and rail networks, and impacts in communities all over Scotland.

“Across many areas of the country there is still some deep-standing water and it’s really important people understand the danger. Hazards can be hidden, so please don’t walk or drive into flood water.

“Remember that not only is flood water likely to be dirty, 30cm (1ft) of fast-flowing water can move an average family-sized car, and just 15cm (6in) of fast-flowing water could be enough to knock you off your feet.

“Our teams have been working around the clock with partner agencies, including Scottish Government, the Met Office, emergency services and local authorities, across this major weather event.”

The challenges posed by the flooding have been compared to those faced during the Beast from the East period of cold weather in 2018.

Flooding on the 18th green at St Andrews.PA Media

Stein Connelly, head of transport resilience at Transport Scotland, said: “It’s been an extremely challenging 72 hours, with perhaps some of most difficult conditions we’ve experienced since the Beast from the East.

“In terms of Argyll, the area around the A83 Rest and Be Thankful saw a month’s worth of rainfall, around 160mm, fall over 36 hours.

“Only a small amount of debris has reached the road at the Rest and Be Thankful itself.

“Safety inspections are now under way and teams are on site to begin clear-up operations once it is deemed safe to do so.”

Elsewhere, work is under way to clear other roads affected by flooding.

The Cowalfest walking festival, due to be held from October 12 to 16, has been cancelled due to the “unprecedented” rainfall on Saturday which led to flooding, landslides and damage to walking trails.

Cowalfest chairwoman Agnes Harvey said: “The decision takes into account the extensive damage to the Cowal landscape caused by flooding and the resulting health and safety risks to walkers and walk guides.”

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