Record-breaking rainfall hits Scotland causing flooding and landslides

The region between northern Argyll to South Ayrshire had around two weeks' worth of rainfall according to STV's Sean Batty.

Widespread weather disruption continues
  • A Severe Flood Warning has been issued for Perth: North Inch to Friarton Bridge
  • Weather warning for rain covering western Scotland issued for Tuesday
  • Ten people airlifted to safety after torrential rain caused multiple landslides in Argyll and Bute on Saturday
  • Major rail disruption on Sunday after hundreds of journeys cancelled on Saturday
  • SEPA issues 11 flood alerts, 54 flood warnings and one severe flood warning
  • Footage shows cars, restaurant and hotel submerged in water after burn bursts banks in Grangemouth

Record-breaking rain has hit parts of Scotland causing widespread flooding and multiple landslides over the weekend.

STV’s Sean Batty estimated the western side of Scotland, from northern Argyll to South Ayrshire, had around two weeks’ worth of rainfall – with one of the wettest places around Loch Restil and Rest & be Thankful with 125mm of rain falling.

A typical level of rainfall would be 350mm for the whole month of October.

Melfort, south of Oban, was the wettest spot, with 132mm of rainfall.

The village of Lochwinnoch had around 13 days worth of rain, totalling around 63mm by around 5pm on Saturday.

Further up the hill in Clyde Muirshiel, there was slightly more with 75mm recorded.

At Polmont near Grangemouth – one of the worst-hit areas of flooding – there wsa 50mm of rainfall; equivalent to around 17 days worth of rain for this part of the country.

The Met Office issued a fresh amber alert between 9pm on Saturday October 7 and 2pm on Sunday covering parts of Angus, Perth and Kinross, Aberdeenshire, Moray and Highland.

Another yellow warning remains in place covering much of north and eastern Scotland until 7pm.

It read: “Warning extended until early evening as further pulses of heavy rain will move eastwards over the next few hours.”

It comes amid widespread flooding and disruption across the country as Scots are urged not to travel unless necessary.

The A83 between Tarbet and Lochgilphead remains closed following multiple landslips.Traffic Scotland

Ten people were airlifted to safety by the Coastguard after torrential rain caused multiple landslides in Argyll and Bute.

The landslips occurred on the A83 between Tarbet and Lochgilphead and on the A815.

The are no reported casualties although several vehicles were left stuck.

Footage captured by motorist Sarah Hunt-Smith showed the mud and debris spilling across the road. She was forced to turn back after the landslip swamped the carriageway just metres from her car on Saturday.

An aerial image of a landslip at Rest and Be Thankful was also shared by the Coastguard.

Hundreds of trains across Scotland were cancelled on Saturday with no cross-border trains running.

Some railway stations, including Bowling in West Dunbartonshire, saw tracks completely submerged in water.

Footage shared with STV News also showed cars, a hotel and a restaurant engulfed in floodwater in Cadgers Brae in Grangemouth.

SEPA flood warnings across 11 parts of Scotland

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa), had issued 11 flood alerts and 51 flood warnings.

A severe flood warning is also active for the Aviemore/Dalfaber area.

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.”

He added: “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.”

Check SEPA’s website for updates on flood alerts and warnings here.

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.”

Travel disruption as roads flooded and trains cancelled

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:

  • A82 at Lochend (fallen tree)
  • A83 between Tarbet and Inveraray (landslips)
  • A84 between Kilmahog and Strathyre (flooding)
  • A85 at Methven (flooding)
  • A92 at Letham (flooding)

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.

Services running across the whole Scotrail network had been cancelled, delayed or revised on Saturday.

Journeys between Inverness and Perth and Perth and Dunblane will not run on Monday October 9.

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.

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.”

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