Storm Erik sweeps in with 70mph gusts – and flooding at the Quay
River of Mud – the Leven turns chocolate brown as it sweeps through Dumbarton towards Dumbarton Rock. Picture by Tom Gardiner
By Bill Heaney
Torrential rain has been hammering down in Dumbarton this morning. Gusts of up to 70mph have been forecast and power cuts are expected as Storm Erik sweeps across West Dunbartonshire and the Firth of Clyde.
Commuters have also been warned to expect delays after the Met Office issued weather warnings for wind and rain on Friday and Saturday.
Coastal areas in the west, such as Helensburgh and Garelochside, are expected to be worst affected.
Warnings about flooding at riversides and Dumbarton Quay car have been issued and people have been told not to park their cars because of high tide at 14.40pm, 20 minutes to three in old money.
The River Leven took on an unprecedented chocolate brown colour as mud from the banks of Scotland’s second fastest flowing river was carried away past Levengrove to the River Clyde at Dumbarton Rock. Police Scotland advised driver caution across Argyll and Bute.
Met Office warnings from busy weather women such as Lucy Verasamy, pictured right, were in force across the Highlands and Islands, south-west Scotland, Lothian, Borders and Strathclyde from 09:00 on Friday.
Inspector David Hynd, from Police Scotland, said: “The Met Office has issued a weather warning for rain, and that conditions for travel may be hazardous due to rain and extra caution should be exercised.”
It is expected there will be some delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport while weather warnings are in place until 15:00 on Saturday.
Persistent and heavy rain is expected as a rapidly deepening area of low pressure passes to the north of Scotland.
Traffic Scotland has urged drivers to be aware of surface spray, leave extra time for journeys and to avoid braking if aquaplaning occurs.
Drivers have also been asked to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
Experts say that delays for high-sided vehicles on exposed routes and bridges is also likely with potential short-term power cuts.
It is also possible that some coastal routes, sea fronts and coastal communities could be affected by spray or large waves.
A forecast on the Met Office website reads: “A deep area of low pressure will bring windy and often wet weather across much of the UK on Friday and Saturday.
“A period of particularly strong winds will affect Northern Ireland and western Scotland on Friday, with gusts of 50 to 60mph inland and occasionally 70mph along exposed coasts. Winds will ease slightly on Friday evening.”