Scotland Braced For Bad Weather

Flooding is likely to cause disruption as heavy rain continues to sweep across the country today, forecasters have warned.

The Met Office has issued amber "be prepared'' warnings for the Highlands and Islands where heavy persistent rain is expected today and into tomorrow.

Yellow "be aware'' warnings are in place for Strathclyde, Central, Tayside and Fife, where rain and gales are predicted into tomorrow.

It comes after wet weather and strong winds caused flooding and travel disruption across the country yesterday.

Fifteen cars were trapped between two landslips for five hours in the Highlands.

The A82 trunk road was closed in two places between Fort William and Ballachulish, near Corrychurrachan, following landslides at around 10am.

Engineers from Bear Scotland and the Forestry Commission cleared the blockage by mid afternoon, freeing the cars, but the road is expected to be closed at least overnight while the area is assessed.

No-one was injured in the incident around five miles south of Fort William.

Elsewhere in Scotland there were disruptions to ferry services and restrictions on roads and bridges.

The Tay, Skye and Dornoch bridges were affected by high winds while CalMac ferry services on the west coast were disrupted or cancelled.

Transport Scotland is monitoring the situation with Sepa, local authorities and Police Scotland.

The Transport Minister Keith Brown chaired a Scottish Government Resilience Room (SGoRR) meeting yesterday to discuss the situation.

He said: "Last week the Scottish Government launched its Ready For Winter Campaign to raise awareness around the challenges winter can bring for communities across the country and highlight some of the preparations people can make to help mitigate the effects. This weekend's Amber alert from the Met Office - the first of this winter - is another timely reminder that we are now moving into winter proper, and all of the sudden changes poor weather can bring.

"That is why the Scottish Government and its partners stand ready to respond to events as they arise.''

He added: "We and our partners are working hard to make sure that Scotland is prepared for any disruption, and we will continue to monitor events through our national control centre and Scottish Government Resilience Room as required.''

He advised people setting out to be prepared and plan their journeys carefully.

Police Scotland warned motorists using the Tay Road Bridge to expect delays today after unexpectedly high winds prevented planned maintenance work from being completed over the weekend.

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