Up to three weeks of rain is set to fall causing widespread life-threatening flooding across much of Scotland.
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.
Businesses have prepared for flooding with some putting defences in place after the Met Office issued an amber weather alert for heavy rain presenting a danger to life across the weekend.
“Our advice is to plan ahead and consider if your journey is really necessary or if it can be delayed until conditions improve,” said chief superintendent Hilary Sloan, head of Scotland’s road police.
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 came into force at 3am on Saturday and continues until 6am on Sunday. A yellow warning for rain remains in place for large parts of central and northern Scotland throughout Saturday until early on Sunday morning.
STV meteorologist Sean Batty warned that up to three weeks of rain could fall from Saturday into Sunday.
Flood alerts have been issued across 14 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.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) called the weather a “major rainfall event”.
“We’re likely to see extensive river and surface water flooding impacts, including property flooding and widespread transport disruption,” Ruth Ellis, SEPA’s flood duty manager, said.
Amber and yellow @metoffice weather warnings are in place from midnight.— Transport Scotland (@transcotland) October 6, 2023
Heavy rain is expected across parts of Scotland this weekend, with a risk of flooding.#PlanAhead before travelling.
Stay #WeatherAware ➡️ https://t.co/sa4eyhEUtY pic.twitter.com/67IeTX37hd
Homes and businesses are expected to be flooded and some buildings will suffer damage.
Widespread travel disruption has already begun with some major roads closed and services from popular train lines restricted.
ScotRail said most of its services will be affected with no trains or replacement buses running from Mallaig/Fort William/Oban to Glasgow, Helensburgh Central/Balloch to Dalmuir or from Perth to Inverness.
Flooding and landslides have shut down several roads, including the A83 between Tarbert and Inverary, the A815 between Dunoon and the A83 and the A816 between Lochgilphead and Oban.
Saturday’s football fixtures have also been impacted with four games having been cancelled on Saturday, including the Dundee v Ross County match.
Power cuts and loss of other services to some homes and businesses is also expected.
Scotland’s transport minister Fiona Hyslop urged people to plan their journeys before they set off.
“Motorists should make sure their routes are available, follow the travel advice from Police Scotland and drive in accordance with the conditions,” she said.
“The Traffic Scotland twitter/X page is regularly updated and the mobile website – my.trafficscotland.org – lets people get the latest information on the move.
“If you are planning to travel by train, ferry or plane, please check with your operators to see if the conditions are having any impact on your services.”
SEPA flood alerts are in place across:
- Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City
- Argyll and Bute
- Ayrshire and Arran
- Dundee and Angus
- Easter Ross and Great Glen
- Edinburgh and Lothians
- Findhorn Nairn Moray and Speyside
- Scottish Borders
- Skye and Lochaber
- West Central Scotland
- Wester Ross
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