Communities suffer further flooding misery amid more heavy rain


Communities have suffered further flooding as heavy rainfall continues to hammer large parts of the UK.

A Met Office amber warning for heavy rain has been extended to noon today in the Angus, Perth and Stirling areas of Scotland, while yellow "be aware" warnings remain in force for parts of Northern Ireland, Wales, the South West, South East and North East of England.

In Aberdeenshire people spent the night away from their homes in Aboyne and Inverurie as water levels threatened their homes.

Experts have visited the site of Abergeldie Castle near Crathie to see what can be done to save the historic building being claimed by the River Dee after land bordering it was swept away.

Jim Savege, chief executive of Aberdeenshire Council, said: "The ongoing rainfall is causing challenges for a number of our communities but the support being provided by the emergency services, partner agencies and public volunteers and groups continues to be first class.

"We will be looking to carry out repairs as a matter of priority as soon as conditions allow.

"We are also looking to play our part in helping protect the historic Abergeldie Castle through the expertise of our engineers and other staff. We are keen to explore anything we can do to prevent further loss of historic landmarks."

Areas with swollen rivers and saturated ground not yet recovered from Storm Frank have been hit once more by persistent showers, with rising water levels threatening properties and disrupting travel.

The Scottish Environment Agency has more than 30 flood warnings in place and has warned people to stay away from the banks of the Tay in Perth, where the city's flood defence scheme was said to be facing its most significant test since it was built more than a decade ago.

Numerous roads have been closed due to surface water and landslides, with the A83 shut overnight at the Rest and Be Thankful as operators prepare to remove an unsafe boulder using explosives.

West coast rail travel between Scotland and England will be disrupted until the end of the month as work continues to repair the Lamington Viaduct near Lockerbie.

The persistent rain also threatened flooding in parts of north east England, Devon, Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.

The Environment Agency has 26 flood warnings in place across England and Wales and temporary flood barriers are still in place on the River Severn at Shrewsbury and Bewdley.

The latest wet weather comes as the country continues to deal with the aftermath of a series of devastating storms and floods over the past month, most recently last week's Storm Frank.

The Environment Agency said it was continuing to support communities by pumping away flood water, repairing damaged defences, clearing blockages in rivers, and monitoring water levels.

In Scotland, Vincent Fitzsimons, Sepa's hydrology duty manager, said: "It's important to note that the rain is less intense but more prolonged than during Storm Frank.

''This means that rivers will rise more slowly but then stay high for much longer - from Sunday through till Tuesday."

Two people died in separate incidents in Scottish rivers when Storm Frank hit, with the body of a kayaker recovered from the River Findhorn in Moray and a canoeist drowning in the River Garry in the Highlands.

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