Homes Evacuated In Perthshire Floods

17 July 2015, 16:26

Around 90 properties have been evacuated and hundreds of homes left without power after heavy rain caused flooding.

Several motorists had to be rescued from their vehicles in Alyth, Perthshire, which has been particularly badly hit.

Elsewhere, heavy rain forced the suspension of play for several hours at the 144th Open Championship in St Andrews, Fife.

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning of rain for much of Scotland for the rest of the day, while Sepa has issued 17 flood warnings and five flood alerts.

In Alyth, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) said it helped evacuate people from 70 flooded properties in one street and from 20 properties in another road.

Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) said 756 homes in the village have been left without power and its engineers are working with emergency services to restore supplies.

A company spokesman said: "Torrential rain and severe flooding has severely disrupted power supplies and the flood waters are hampering the efforts of our engineers to restore supplies speedily and safely.

"A bridge over the Alyth Burn that carried our cables has been washed away.

"The fire service is assisting our teams by pumping out water from the village as we continue to work to restore power.

"SHEPD engineers are working to re-route supplies from other parts of the electricity network. SHEPD is also working with the British Red Cross to co-ordinate welfare for the villagers at the local community hall. 756 homes are currently without power.''

Elsewhere in Perthshire, five properties in Bankfoot were evacuated due to flooding, while fire crews also attended reports of flooding in Perth, Blairgowrie, Glen Isla and Coupar Angus.

Colin Grieve, SFRS local senior officer for Perth and Kinross, Dundee and Angus, said: "Our crews are doing some excellent work and have had an extremely busy morning due to the high number of flooding incidents we have attended.

"I would also like to pay tribute to our control staff who have done a fantastic job during what has been an incredibly busy day so far.

"Everyone is working together to assist members of the public and the service is liaising closely with its emergency services partners to ensure people's safety and well-being.''

At the Open, organisers suspended proceedings around 10 minutes after the first players teed off at 6.32am as conditions worsened.

Greens, fairways and bunkers were flooded and an army of greenkeepers set to work on clearing the standing water, with play resuming at around 10am.

A total of 14mm of rain fell at Leuchars near St Andrews between 6pm yesterday and 6am today.

The Met Office yellow "be aware'' warning covers the Central, Tayside and Fife, Grampian, Highlands, Western Isles and Strathclyde regions.

The warning, which is valid until 1pm tomorrow, says "persistent and sometimes rather heavy rain will develop again across parts of western Scotland on Friday evening, lasting into the first part of Saturday.

"The rain will be accompanied by strong west or south-westerly winds, with gales especially along some exposed coasts this evening and for a time overnight. Gusts of wind may exceed 55mph there, but more widely 35 to 45mph inland.''

Richard Brown, head of hydrology at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa), warned that the rain will continue into tomorrow and urged people to remain vigilant.

He said: "Overnight into Saturday, a further band of rain is due to affect areas of Ayrshire, Argyll and Bute, Glasgow and west central Scotland, with the most intense, prolonged showers expected on Saturday morning.

"Skye and Lochaber are expected to experience significant rainfall totals overnight and throughout Saturday, with over 80mm of rain forecast. Again, surface water flooding has the potential to cause widespread disruption on road networks and urban areas, while river levels are likely to respond quickly, with some minor disruption possible in rural areas.

"Whilst large waves are expected along the west coast, particularly around the Inner Hebrides, the risk of coastal flooding remains very low.''