Shoppers Rescued From Flood

22 December 2014, 13:25

More than 40 people who were left stranded by floodwater at a supermarket have been rescued.

Water rescue crews from Polmadie and Ayr were sent to the Asda supermarket in Kilmarnock, where 42 customers and staff were stranded.

A rigid inflatable boat was used to take them from the store.

Part of Queen's Drive Retail park had become flooded after the River Irvine burst its banks.

Emergency services in Ayrshire and the Kilmarnock area have been working through the night to tackle several incidents of serious flooding after heavy overnight rain.

Drivers and pedestrians are being urged to take extra care while travelling in the area.

Elsewhere, a passenger was treated for a minor head injury after a train came to a halt when it hit floodwater near Mauchline in Ayrshire last night.

A spokeswoman for ScotRail said: "Last night's 22:12 Glasgow Central to Carlisle service came to a halt after striking a large volume of water between Kilmarnock and Auchinleck.

"The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service attended and all passengers were evacuated safely and as soon as possible.

"One passenger was treated on site for a minor head injury.

"We are currently working with Network Rail to move the train and reopen the line as soon as possible."

Fire and rescue crews led more than 30 people to safety after the train became stranded in approximately five feet of water.

Firefighters used ladders to create a three-metre bridge from a carriage, which allowed those on board to be led to safety by firefighters and railway personnel.

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: "Floodwater poses hidden dangers and people should avoid walking or driving through it.

"It may appear safe but you can't see hazards beneath the surface or even potentially strong currents. Around six inches of water can be enough to knock an adult off their feet.

"Even when standing water has cleared the surfaces are of course likely to be slippery for some time, which means drivers are more likely to lose control and need greater distances to stop safely.

"We would urge people to stay aware of the conditions, exercise caution and obviously follow any advice from local authorities and the police."

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) currently has 12 alerts and 34 warnings in place across Scotland.

Environment Minister Aileen McLeod said: "We have seen some areas of very localised flooding in Scotland today as a result of persistent and heavy rain overnight.

"The Scottish Government is continuing to work with Sepa, local authorities and the emergency services to co-ordinate a multi-agency response and ensure that people and businesses are fully prepared for possible flooding.

"The situation is being monitored closely and we are grateful for the efforts of the emergency responders who evacuated shoppers from flash-flooding in Kilmarnock today.

"I would encourage everyone to monitor Sepa's Floodline website for the latest flood information and to sign up to receive Floodline warnings direct to their phone."