Ten rescued by Coastguard as torrential rain causes landslips across Scotland

Amber warning for rain extended until 2pm on Sunday for parts of north and eastern Scotland.

Key Points
Widespread weather disruption
  • Ten people have been airlifted to safety after torrential rain caused multiple landslides across Scotland
  • Amber weather warning extended until 2pm on Sunday for parts of Scotland
  • Hundreds of trains have been cancelled across the country with no crossborder services running
  • The M9 is flooded near Stirling with delays of more an hour
  • SEPA issues 47 flood warnings covering most of Scotland
  • Footage shows cars, restaurant and hotel submerged in water after burn bursts banks in Grangemouth

An amber weather warning for rain has been extended for parts of north and east of Scotland.

The Met Office alert is in place between 9pm on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday, covering parts of Angus, Perth and Kinross, Aberdeenshire, Moray and Highland.

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

Ten people have been airlifted to safety 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.

Drivers have been warned not to drive in the Argyll and Bute area while severe weather warnings remain in place until Sunday.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We were called to reports of multiple landslides on the A83 and A815 on the morning of Saturday, October 7, 2023. 

“A number of vehicles were stuck between the landslides. Emergency services, including HM Coastguard, attended and ten people were airlifted to safety.

Dalmuir Twin Tunnels flooded.Network Rail Scotland

“There were no reports of injuries. The roads remain closed and drivers are urged to avoid travel in the area.” 

The A83 between Inveraray and Lochgilphead remains shut with traffic diverted along the Old Military Road.

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.

Police Scotland said: “Our emergency partner HM Coastguard have shared this image from their search and rescue helicopter at Cairndow. Drivers should avoid travelling in the Argyll and Bute area due to significant disruption.”

Flooding at Cadgers Brae in Grangemouth

Throughout Saturday the weather caused widespread disruption across the country with up to three weeks of rain expected to fall over the weekend.

Scots have been told to consider if their journeys are “really necessary” as the Scottish Government’s Multi-Agency Response Team was called into action.

Flood alerts have been issued across 17 areas of the country by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

Fast-flowing or deep floodwater will present a danger to life, forecasters said, with some communities becoming cut off by flooded roads.

47 flood warnings across most of Scotland

Flooding at Cadgers Brae in GrangemouthSTV News

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) called the weather a “major rainfall event”.

“I want to be very clear that this is not a normal Autumn day for Scotland,” Vincent Fitzsimmons, SEPA’s flood duty manager, said.

“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.”

The 47 flood alerts are in place in the following areas:

  • Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City
  • Argyll and Bute
  • Ayrshire and Arran
  • Caithness and Sutherland
  • Central
  • Dumfries and Galloway
  • Dundee and Angus
  • Easter Ross and Great Glen
  • Edinburgh and Lothians
  • Fife
  • Findhorn Nairn Moray and Speyside
  • Scottish Borders
  • Skye and Lochaber
  • Tayside
  • West Central Scotland
  • Wester Ross
  • Western Isles

Widespread disruption to trains and roads

Heavy rain sweeps across Scotland amid amber weather warning

There was widespread travel disruption on Saturday with major road closures and train service cancellations. Multiple public events, including football matches, were also rescheduled.

ScotRail has said most of its routes will face disruption while no trains or replacement buses will run on the following lines:

* Mallaig/Fort William/Oban – Glasgow
* Helensburgh Central/Balloch – Dalmuir
* Perth – Inverness

The fixed pumps and the Dalmuir Twin Tunnels have been “completely overwhelmed by the extreme rainfall”, Network Rail said.

Customers have been advised to travel only when necessary, to expect delays, and to check their journey before setting off.

Updates on ScotRail’s services can be found on the company website, app or social media pages.

Customers whose journey has been cancelled or disrupted due to the weather can travel one day before or two days after the date on their ticket.
Fee-free refunds will also be given where this is not applicable.

Teens take kayak trip across Greenock after heavy rainfall

LNER said there would be no trains north of Newcastle over the weekend while Avanti West Coast said its services won’t run further than Preston.

TransPennine Express said customers with tickets between Manchester, Liverpool, Preston, Carlisle, Glasgow and Edinburgh are advised not to travel and to claim a full refund.

A number of major roads in Scotland are closed due to flooding and landslides, including:

* A83 between Tarbert and Inverary
* A815 between Dunoon and A83
* A816 between Lochgilphead and Oban
* A85 at Loch Awe

“Drivers are urged to take care on the roads and avoid unnecessary travel,” Police Scotland said.

There are several road closures in the area due to flooding and landslides:

The amber warning for rain covers Inverclyde, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, East and West Dunbartonshire, Argyll and Lochaber, parts of Stirling, Perthshire, Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.

It will remain in place until 6am on Sunday.

A yellow warning for rain also remains in place for large parts of central and northern Scotland throughout Saturday until early on Sunday morning.

How much rain fell in Scotland’s worst-affected areas?

Insight Sean Batty STV weather forecaster

“Up until 5pm, many areas stretching down the western side of the country from northern Argyll to South Ayrshire have had about two weeks’ worth of rainfall, with one of the wettest places around Loch Restil and Rest & be Thankful with 125mm of rain falling.

“Here, you would normally get around 350mm for the whole month of October.

“Melfort on the west coast, south of Oban is the wettest spot with 132mm from this event.

“Further south for the likes of Lochwinnoch we had 63mm so far, which equates to 13 days worth of rain for the village. Further up the hill in Clyde Muirshiel we’ve had slightly more with 75mm recorded here.

“We’ve seen a lot of posts about the flooding around Grangemouth – the nearest gauge is Polmont which has had about 50mm, which is equivalent to about 17 days worth of rain for this part of the country.”

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