COMMUTERS FACING HEAVY RAIN DURING MORNING RUSH HOUR
The Met Office and police are warning the public and motorists to prepare for potential travel disruption across much of Scotland tomorrow (Thursday), especially during the morning rush hour.
An AMBER (Be Prepared) warning for heavy rain has been issued for the following areas during the early hours of Thursday and will sweep across parts of the country throughout the morning:
-much of Strathclyde
-Dumfries & Galloway
-Perth & Kinross
The heaviest rain is expected to fall over high ground in Dumfries & Galloway, Argyll, the southern Highlands, Stirling and west Tayside – many of the same areas that were affected earlier this week by heavy rain. Southerly gale force winds will accompany the rain, and gusts of up to 60 miles per hour are possible in some areas. A separate YELLOW (Be Aware) warning has been issued covering most of the rest of Scotland except Orkney, Caithness & Sutherland and the north of Grampian.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said:
“We have been in regular contact with the Met Office, police, operating companies, the rail industry and other key responders this week. Our Multi Agency Response Team will be fully operational to monitor the network and provide assistance. I would urge the travelling public and motorists to take extra care in areas that experience testing conditions.
“As we’ve been stressing repeatedly through our Ready for Winter campaign, the public can play a pivotal role in terms of keeping the network moving by checking traffic information before leaving home, making an informed decision, and if travelling then looking at the advice available on driving in bad weather.
“It looms like a testing rush hour for many people tomorrow (Thursday) and motorists will need to be extra cautious when travelling in heavy downpours and allow extra time for braking distances. While all of the operating companies and other key agencies involved are working hard to keep Scotland moving and preparations are in place, it’s important the travelling public are prepared.
“The Traffic Scotland Control Centre continues to monitor the travel situation very closely and the website, Variable Message Signs and internet radio will be used to provide up to date information as the situation develops.”
Bob Wilderspin, Met Office Chief Forecaster, said:
“The unsettled spell of weather is set to continue with further spells of heavy rain expected across Scotland over the next few days. A particularly squally day is expected tomorrow (Thursday) as strong to gale force winds combine with heavy rain move across Scotland during the day. With winds gusting around 60 mph in places and 20 to 50 mm of rain falling in a short period of time we urge everyone to keep up to date with forecasts and warnings and be prepared for what the weather will bring.”
Marc Becker, from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s (SEPA) Flood Unit, said:
“Met Office advice is that a further period of heavy rain and strong winds is expected to move from west to east across the country tomorrow. The heaviest of the rain is forecast to affect many southern and central parts of the country, coinciding with tomorrow morning’s rush hour in some locations. Areas likely to be worst affected are those which experienced flooding earlier in the week. In particular, Dumfries and Galloway, Western Tayside, Argyll and Central will be susceptible to further river flooding.
“If rain clears the east coast of Scotland by tomorrow evening, conditions should then improve.
“At present, there are twelve Flood Alerts in place, covering Argyll and Bute, Ayrshire and Arran, Dumfries and Galloway, Central, Dundee and Angus, Edinburgh and Lothians, Fife, Scottish Borders, Skye and Lochaber, West Central Scotland, Western Isles and Tayside, but we are expecting further Alerts to be issued over the next 24 hours.
“To assist with operational responses, SEPA is providing Scotland’s emergency services and other responders with regular updates on forecast river and coastal flooding and we continue to monitor the situation 24/7. Members of the public, in areas which could be affected, are encouraged to remain vigilant and mindful of the conditions in their locality, especially if travelling. Anyone can access the latest flood updates for their area, and sign up to Floodline, our direct warning service, via our website, or by calling 0845 988 1188.”
The Multi Agency Response Team (MART), based at the Traffic Control Centre in Glasgow, includes representatives from Traffic Scotland, Transport Scotland, the police, rail operators, road operating companies and the Met Office. In light of the Met Office warning, trunk road operating companies have all their resources available, including patrols, and will pre-position resources in areas of special attention.
The Scottish Government’s Resilience Room operation, which was involved in monitoring and co-ordination work around the heavy rain that struck parts of Scotland earlier this week, is continuing that role in light of the new AMBER and YELLOW warnings.
For real time journey information visit www.trafficscotland.org, follow @trafficscotland on Twitter or call 0800 028 14 14.
The full Alerts, including the Chief Forecaster's Assessment and a map showing the areas included in the Alerts, are available at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings/
Rail, ferries and air users should check with individual service operators’ websites.
Check www.sepa.org.uk for flooding alerts
The Scottish Government’s ‘Ready for Winter?’ campaign, in partnership with the British Red Cross, was launched on October 22, and provides information and advice to individuals and communities on how to prepare and cope with severe weather including snow, ice, flooding and high-winds. The campaign includes a range of online resources including a new smartphone app. For more information please see www.readyscotland.org
Five actions you can take to be better flood prepared:
* Have a flood plan ready to put into action
* Keep in contact with Floodline 0845 98811 / http://floodline.sepa.org.uk/floodupdates for the latest flood Alerts & Warnings
* Consider fitting flood protection products to your property in case of a flood and rehearse how to fit them
* Move important documents, valuable items, business stock and supplies, vehicles and livestock into a safe place.
* Make sure friends, family and neighbours are aware and prepared – especially if they are elderly or vulnerable.
For more advice and guidance: www.sepa.org.uk/flooding or via Floodline 0845 9881188 At 10am every day SEPA issues to registered media a summary of Flood Warnings & Alerts currently in force. When there are Warnings in force this gets issued more frequently, usually every four hours. If your organisation has not signed up for this free bulletin and you would like it, please request it by emailing email@example.com