Flooding expected as heavy rain forecast for Scotland
Homes and businesses are likely to be flooded and travel disrupted as heavy rain sweeps parts of Scotland on Thursday, forecasters have warned.
The Met Office has issued Amber warnings of heavy rain from midnight until early afternoon in East Lothian, parts of Midlothian and eastern areas in the Scottish Borders.
It warns that fast flowing or deep floodwater is likely, causing danger to life – while some communities may be cut off by flooded roads.
Driving conditions are expected to be difficult, while delays and some cancellations to train and bus services are likely.
The Scottish Government said that the Multi-Agency Response Team, based at the National Traffic Control Centre in South Queensferry, will be monitoring the situation.
Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “The Met Office is warning of heavy rain, particularly in East Lothian and parts of the Scottish Borders, for most of the day on Thursday, so travellers should expect some disruption on the trunk road network.
“The rain will likely lead to difficult driving conditions, so I’d urge travellers to plan their journey ahead, drive to the conditions and follow Police Scotland travel advice.
“Motorists should check with Traffic Scotland before they set off to make sure that their route is available.
“The Traffic Scotland mobile website – my.trafficscotland.org – lets people get the latest information on the move and the Traffic Scotland twitter page is also updated regularly.
“The conditions are also likely to lead to disruption on other modes of transport, so travellers should check with their operators before they set out.”
Transport Scotland’s Resilience Room will also operate throughout the day, and the Operating Company will be carrying out inspections of culverts and flooding hotspots, as well as mobilising equipment, ahead of the warnings coming into effect.
A yellow warning of rain covering Edinburgh is also in force on Thursday from midnight until mid-afternoon.
Police are urging motorists to travel with care.
Chief Inspector Mark Patterson said: “Driving conditions may be hazardous and extra caution should be exercised when travelling as heavy rain is likely to cause some travel disruption and flooding.
“If you are travelling you should ensure you and your vehicle are adequately prepared for the conditions.
“Charge your mobile phone and plan your route as well as alternative routes.”
The rainfall is expected to be heaviest over high ground in East Lothian and eastern areas of the Scottish Borders.
Marc Becker, Flood Duty Manager for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa), said: “Sepa is working 24/7 to monitor rainfall and river levels, and is in close contact with the Met Office and other partners to review the forecasts and flood warnings.
“The rainfall is currently expected to spread westwards during Thursday turning lighter later in the day.”
It comes after heavy rain caused disruption in some parts of Scotland, England and Wales on Wednesday.
Train travel between Scotland and England was disrupted because of a fallen tree on the West Coast line, while there were also delays or cancellations on the East Coast route.