Vigilance advised ahead of further rain

Bridge of Dun flooding. ''Andy Thompson Photography / ATIMAGES

Bridge of Dun flooding. ''Andy Thompson Photography / ATIMAGES

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With many people now returning to work after the festive break, the Scottish Government’s resilience committee met again today to discuss the response to the adverse weather conditions.

An Amber Warning for rain in Central, Tayside, Fife and Grampian remains in place for today (Monday, January 4).

The weather warning is expected to downgrade to a Yellow Warning just after midnight on Tuesday, January 5, until 11.55pm noon that day.

SEPA have advised that flood warnings remain in place for a number of areas in the north east, in particular Brechin, Kintore, Inverurie, Braemar and Aberdeen.

There may be some transport disruption due to the ongoing conditions and operating companies are monitoring the trunk roads carefully.

While the rain is expected to ease through Tuesday, the Met Office is forecasting a further weather front with rain coming up through Scotland from Thursday, and the likely impact on land and coastal areas will continue to be monitored.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister John Swinney, Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown, Transport Minister Derek Mackay, Environment Minister Aileen McLeod and Community Safety Minister Paul Wheelhouse all took part in today’s resilience meeting.

Mr Swinney said: “The last few weeks have seen unusually high levels of rain affecting some areas of Scotland but all relevant bodies are working closely together to minimise disruption as people are returning to work this week.

“The Scottish Government’s resilience committee remains in constant contact with the emergency services and relevant agencies as we continue to support affected communities and businesses.

“The rail industry continues to do all it can to get the Highland and West Coast lines up and running, with shuttle buses still in operation. All of the latest information is available on the rail operators’ websites and Twitter feeds and those intending to use these routes should bear in mind that these journeys could take longer than usual.

“Travellers should remain vigilant and proceed with care. Road operators are alert to the conditions and are monitoring the network. Traffic Scotland continues to be the go-to source for information about the trunk road network and will have the latest on real-time conditions.

“I would again encourage anyone concerned to stay safe, monitor SEPA’s Floodline website and sign up to receive Floodline warnings to their phone. Help is available for anyone affected.”

Vincent Fitzsimons, SEPA’s Hydrology Duty Manager said: “Due to the persistent rainfall since Friday, river levels have been rising over the weekend, particularly across Tayside, Angus and southern Aberdeenshire. Some rivers have already peaked, most will peak over the course of Monday, but all will stay high throughout Monday and Tuesday.

“As a result, parts of Aberdeenshire, Tayside and Angus are seeing flooding impacts to properties, roads, and farmland, with disruption to travel. Particular focus is on Brechin, Aberdeen and communities in the Kintore-Inverurie area, where the Inverness-Aberdeen rail line is at risk. However, SEPA is monitoring communities across the North East very closely and we are in very close contact with responders to help them prepare to help the public as much as possible.

“Although the focus of flooding impacts is firmly fixed on north eastern areas today, heavy showers across Caithness and the eastern areas of the Scottish Borders, could result in some localised flooding due to saturated ground conditions. Any impacts are likely to be confined to individual properties, low lying agricultural land and minor roads.

“We are working closely with our partners in the Met Office, affected local authorities and the emergency services to ensure they receive the most up to date forecasts on potential flooding. As always, we would encourage the public to stay safe and not take any unnecessary risks, particularly close to areas currently affected by flood water.

“Our Floodline number can be used for the most up-to-date information in your area by phone or text on 0345 988 1188. The SEPA website also details the latest Flood Alerts and Warnings for the whole of Scotland, including information about preparing for flooding at http://www.floodlinescotland.org.uk/your-home.”