Major flooding in Scotland as motorists airlifted to safety after landslides

By John Mercury October 9, 2023

Flooding in Scotland has been compared to the infamous Beast from the East storm – as other parts of the UK enjoyed the warmest October for five years.

Severe flood warnings from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) saying a “risk to life” remained in place on Sunday evening.

Police Scotland said communities “faced some of the most challenging conditions ever”, after 10 motorists were airlifted to safety on Saturday due to landslides on the A83 in Argyll and Bute, which dislodged 2,000 tonnes of debris. Another four were airlifted in Kilmartin, Argyll and Bute.

Comparisons were drawn with the Beast from the East, a cold snap in February 2018 which caused chaos in Scotland, after some regions experienced a month’s rainfall in 24 hours.

Read more: Get the latest Sky News weather forecast

SEPA urged anyone in the Aviemore area to stay away from floodwater, avoid unnecessary risks and comply with any evacuation orders.

In total, more than 50 flood warnings are in place across Scotland.

It follows heavy rainfall, which started on Saturday and continued throughout the night.

“It’s been a rough weekend across Scotland, with severe weather causing widespread travel disruption to road and rail networks and impacts in communities from Greenock to Aviemore,” SEPA flood duty manager Vincent Fitzsimons said.

“Our teams have been working around the clock with Scottish Government and the Met Office in the lead into and across this major weather event.”

“It’s a day to stay alert, not stand down. The risk to life remains,” he added.

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Earlier the Met Office issued an amber “risk to life” alert across Angus, Perth and Kinross, Aberdeenshire, Moray and Highland which ended at 2pm.

Although the rain is expected to subside throughout the afternoon, ScotRail has said severe disruption is expected to continue throughout the day, with a number of lines closed and speed restrictions still in place.

It said essential checks to lines were being carried out before trains could run and is urging passengers to check before travelling.

Lines closed throughout Sunday included Edinburgh/Glasgow to Inverness, Aberdeen to Inverurie, and Inverness to Elgin.

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Extreme rainfall has caused several landslides across Scotland.

A number of events across Scotland were also called off on Saturday due to the weather.

The third round of the Alfred Dunhill Links golf championship at St Andrews was postponed.

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