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Last Updated: Friday, 25 January 2008, 16:37 GMT
Weather causes hazards on roads
Tractor in flooded road
Roads were closed due to floodwaters near Denny

Torrential rain and high winds have been battering Scotland, causing hazardous conditions for motorists.

Police considered closing the M80 in central Scotland between junctions five and nine due to flooding.

Some of the water was removed and the route remained open, but there was still "considerable" surface water.

Stornoway experienced the worst of the high winds through the night with gusts of 75mph, while in Shetland, gusts of 85mph were recorded on Friday morning.

A burn burst its banks in Banknock, Falkirk, while rescue teams were alerted to flooding near Beauly and Fort Augustus in the Highlands.

Central Scotland Police said the A883 road to Denny was closed at the Bogton roundabout after a lorry became stuck under the over-bridge for the M876.

The fact that someone feels it is appropriate to drive at more than 90mph in these circumstances is reckless, irresponsible and unbelievable."
Insp Graeme Allan
Central Scotland Police

The route was also reduced to one lane heading towards Falkirk after the River Carron burst its banks.

The A872 to Denny and the A9 Plean to Torwood stretch were only passable with care.

There were a total of 13 flood warnings in place, with the River Tay and the River Earn areas worst affected.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) also issued warnings for the River Tummel and River Lyon.

High winds also caused traffic problems across Scotland.

Traffic Scotland said the Forth Road Bridge was closed to high-sided vehicles and caravans, while the Tay Bridge was restricted to cars only.

Ferries cancelled

Police reissued their warning about driving with extreme care in the bad weather after a driver was caught on camera at more than 90mph on the M80.

The incident was captured shortly after 1200 GMT on the northbound carriageway near Denny.

Insp Graeme Allan, of Central Scotland Police road policing unit, said: "Despite the warnings and the obviously awful weather we are seeing across Central Scotland, the fact that someone feels it is appropriate to drive at more than 90mph in these circumstances is reckless, irresponsible and unbelievable."

Picture by Niall Chapman
Motorists are being urged to take extra care on the roads

The weather also caused disruption to rail services between Stirling, Falkirk and Glasgow due to flooding at Carmuirs.

A landslip on the line between Dunblane and Perth meant limited services were running in each direction, and at a reduced speed.

Northern Constabulary said a number of routes across the force area had been affected by the weather.

The A832 - Marybank to Muir Of Ord and the B851 - between Farr and Croachie have been shut.

Caledonian MacBrayne said its Ullapool to Stornoway crossing was cancelled due to adverse weather, with many more services disrupted.

Skye was drenched overnight with 48mm of rain falling across the island from 1800 to 0600 GMT on Friday.

Parts of Wester Ross received 42mm and in Aviemore, about 26mm of rain fell.

River levels

BBC Scotland's weather forecaster Heather Reid said previous downpours throughout January had left the ground saturated.

She said: "The rain we are now getting really has nowhere to go, the river levels are high and we're seeing all this flooding.

"Over the next few days it is staying wet and windy - another 40mm or 50mm of rainfall is quite possible during the next 24 hours.

"That's going to cause problems and then things are looking a little bit drier for Sunday."

SEE ALSO
Gale-force winds cause disruption
09 Jan 08 |  Scotland
'140mph' wind at mountain tunnel
09 Jan 08 |  Highlands and Islands
Chaos as Forth Road Bridge closes
09 Jan 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
High winds cause major problems
09 Jan 08 |  Scotland
Driver survives shoreline crash
09 Jan 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Country hit by fresh snow showers
04 Jan 08 |  Scotland

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