FLOODING

Flood at Quay 2Flooding in previous years at Dumbarton Quay.

Heavy rain has been falling across West Dunbartonshire almost incessantly since Sunday and extensive flooding and landslides are causing problems in many parts of Scotland.

Dumbarton escaped the worst of it and the area around the Quay, which has been badly hit in the past (see picture above) did not flood as might have been expected.

However, motorists travelling up the A82 from Dumbarton to Oban found it testing journey and faced closed roads and landslips.

In Oban itself, a number of low-lying areas have been submerged in deep water, leaving vehicles stranded.

Multiple landslips have closed the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful in Argyll, with a diversion of almost 60 miles in place for drivers.

A Met Office yellow “be aware” warning for heavy rain is in force across much of western Scotland until midnight.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has issued seven flood warnings – for Strathglass, Moy Bridge, Invermoriston and Strath Oykel, Glen Lyon, Pollok Country Park and Spey Dam to Newtonmore – and nine flood alerts.

SEPA said West Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and North Ayrshire were likely to be badly affected.

A spokeswoman for Argyll and Bute Council said there were a number of low lying sections of Oban, surrounding Lochavullin, which were flooded.

She said: “The standing water is caused by the exceptional amount of rain recently, augmented by higher tides than usual and the strength of the wind.

“There are pumps in the area which will cope with reasonable quantities of water but not the volume of water we have experienced over the weekend and the start of the week.”

Police said there were multiple collisions on commuter routes, including a four-car accident on the M8 westbound near junction 27 and another four-vehicle accident on the eastbound A92 near Cowdenbeath in Fife.

A crash on the A85 near Dalmally, which closed the road in both directions and affected the Rest and Be Thankful diversion, has since been cleared.

The A83 in that area has been particularly prone to landslides, and work has been carried out in recent years to reduce the risk to drivers.

Bear Scotland said debris had been caught in one of the recently-installed landslip mitigation fences across the bottom of the slope above the A83.

It said it was not currently safe to reopen the road or the Old Military Road due to the heavy rain continuing to affect the slope above the carriageway.

Tommy Deans, Bear Scotland’s north west network manager, said: “Safety is our top priority, and we’re doing all we can to assess the slope and the extent of the debris from the steep hillside above the carriageway.

“At least four different debris fences have caught significant levels of material from landslips, however, heavy rain is making conditions difficult for teams to assess the extent of the debris which has come down the hill and the likelihood of any further occurrences elsewhere on the slope.

“At this stage it is unlikely we’ll be able to safely open the A83 or the Old Military Road today until we are absolutely certain that the slope at the Rest and Be Thankful is safe, and until then we encourage road users to follow the diversion route via Dalmally or consider alternative travel options.”

He added that drivers should check Traffic Scotland for the latest information.

Donald Clark, who runs the George Hotel in Inverary and sits on the A83 task force, said any road closure had a major impact the community and local businesses.

He told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “There are five troublesome gulleys in that particular stretch. I think they’ve pretty well completed three of them, and there’s another couple in the next stage to do.”

CalMac said that some ferry sailings were cancelled and others were liable to disruption.

Marc Becker, Sepa’s duty flooding manager, said: “The rain is expected to ease off throughout Tuesday afternoon and into the evening. Rivers will remain high in areas that experienced a lot of rain yesterday but are expected to fall later in the day.

“Areas likely to see difficult driving conditions and ponding of water in known trouble spots are include West Central Scotland, Skye and Lochaber, Argyll and western parts of Central and Tayside.

“Wind debris, such as fallen leaves, may increase this risk by blocking drains.”

He added that high tides would peak around the whole Scottish coastline over the next few days, increasing the possibility of some isolated minor flooding to low-lying land and roads.

Rain falling on saturated ground is expected to cause isolated flooding of low-lying land & roads across western Scotland this evening and into tomorrow

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