Scotland weather: Country battered by severe gales

Flooding in Greenock
Image caption There has been localised flooding in some areas

Severe gales and heavy rain have swept across parts of Scotland with gusts of 60 to 70mph in some areas.

A number of ferry services on the west coast were cancelled and Traffic Scotland warned drivers of crosswinds and falling trees and debris.

Flooding and problems with overhead wires affected some ScotRail lines and some football matches were called off.

Bridges have also been affected, with the Forth, Tay, Skye and Kessock road bridges closed to high-sided vehicles.

The high winds also affected driving conditions on the Friarton Bridge, near Perth, the Erskine Bridge and the Dornoch Bridge.

The Met Office issued a yellow "be aware" warning of high winds throughout Scotland, and many remain for Sunday.

Gusts of 66mph were recorded on Saturday at Inverbervie in Aberdeenshire and Eskdalemuir in Dumfries and Galloway, while winds of 65mph hit South Uist in the Outer Hebrides.

Edinburgh and Glasgow were buffeted by wind speeds of up to 47mph, temporarily closing some attractions, including the capital's Big Wheel in Princes Street Gardens.

On higher ground, a gust of 102mph was registered on the Applecross peninsula in Wester Ross and speeds of 111mph recorded near Tomintoul in the Cairngorms National Park.

Edinburgh Airport said it was also experiencing disruption due to the bad weather.

A football match between Stenhousemuir and Rangers was among those called off.

It was cancelled due to safety reasons after structural damage to one of the stands at Ochilview Park in Stenhousemuir.

A game between Partick Thistle and St Johnstone was also called off.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said heavy rain was expected to continue to fall until early on Sunday morning and low-lying land in the area could be at risk.

Image copyright Lynne Martin
Image caption Warnings about high seas have been issued

It has four flood warnings in place for Carse of Lennoch to Lochlane, Crieff to Innerpeffray, Glen Lyon and Innerpeffray to Bridge of Earn.

There are also a number of flood alerts in place for Argyll and Bute, Caithness and Sutherland, Orkney, Shetland, Skye and Lochaber, Wester Ross and the Western Isles.

Sepa warned that rivers were are also running high in areas including Skye and Tayside due to the heavy rain.

Flooding and surface water are also causing problems on roads in Dumfries and Galloway, with the A701, about two miles north of St Anne's Bridge in Dumfries, blocked by a fallen tree.

Power cables were brought down in South Ayrshire between Minishant and Culroy.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said it responded to numerous calls about the weather, including fallen trees, flooded roads and loose roof slates.

About 20 people were evacuated from Whitburn Junior Social Club in Whitburn, West Lothian, and an adjacent bungalow, after heavy tin roof sheeting blew off a nearby pavilion onto both buildings at about 12:00 GMT. No-one was hurt.

Police Scotland urged drivers to take care and reduce their speed on the roads during the poor weather.

The gales are expected to continue to affect the west coast on Sunday, with the severe weather warning remaining in place for the Highlands, Western Isles, Orkney, Shetland and Strathclyde between midday and midnight.

Image caption Heavy rain and winds have been sweeping across Scotland

Again, large waves caused by the very strong winds, particularly around times of high tide, may also become an issue along exposed coasts, emergency services have warned.

A storm on 5 December killed a lorry driver after his vehicle was blown on to two cars in Bathgate, West Lothian, while more than 100,000 homes across Scotland had their power cut.

Winds gusting more than 140mph were recorded on Aonach Mor in the Highlands, while the Met Office also recorded a gust of 106mph at Glenogle in Stirlingshire. Winds reached 59mph in Edinburgh and 63mph in Glasgow.

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