Heavy rain and strong winds cause chaos across Scotland
Scotland has been hit by severe weather conditions in the past few days, with heavy rain and strong winds causing travel disruption, flooding and damage to buildings. The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for ice and heavy rain for parts of Scotland, advising people to be aware of the potential impacts and take extra care.
On Sunday, parts of Scotland experienced persistent and heavy rain, with some areas receiving up to 120mm of rainfall. The rain caused flooding in some places, blocking roads and affecting rail and ferry services. ScotRail said that speed restrictions were implemented across the network on Monday due to the forecasted heavy rain, and as a result, services were subject to delays, alterations and cancellations. CalMac warned that some of its ferry routes were liable to disruption or cancellation at short notice due to the adverse weather conditions.
The heavy rain also increased the risk of landslides, especially in areas where the ground was already saturated. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) issued several flood alerts and warnings, urging people to stay away from fast flowing water and flooded areas. SEPA also advised people to prepare for possible power cuts and disruption to water supplies.
Wind gusts of up to 80mph expected on Wednesday and Thursday
The weather situation is expected to worsen on Wednesday and Thursday, as a deep area of low pressure tracks in from the south west, bringing very strong winds, gales and severe coastal gales. The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for wind that runs from 10am Wednesday until 9am Thursday, making people aware and ready to expect gusts widely of 50-60mph and the possibility of 80-85mph along exposed coasts.
The strong winds could cause injuries and danger to life from flying debris, as well as damage to buildings, tiles blown off roofs and large waves posing a threat to life in coastal areas. Motorists have been urged to take care, as the wind could affect road, rail, air and ferry transport. Mobile phone coverage may also be affected in some areas.
The Met Office said that there is still some uncertainty about the precise tracking and depth of the low pressure system, and that the warning could be updated or changed in the coming days. People are advised to keep an eye on the latest forecast and follow the advice of local authorities and emergency services.
How to stay safe and prepared in severe weather
The Scottish Government has issued some tips on how to stay safe and prepared in severe weather, especially during the winter months. These include:
- Checking the weather forecast and travel information before setting off
- Having an emergency kit in your car, including a torch, blanket, shovel, food and water
- Keeping your mobile phone charged and having a list of emergency numbers
- Having a battery-powered radio and a torch at home in case of power cuts
- Keeping warm and dry, and checking on vulnerable neighbours and relatives
- Signing up for flood alerts and warnings from SEPA
- Following the advice of local authorities and emergency services
The Scottish Government also has a website called Ready Scotland, where people can find more information and resources on how to prepare for and cope with emergencies.