Page last updated at 09:11 GMT, Friday, 17 July 2009 10:11 UK

Road reopens after flash flooding

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Flash floods hit Inverness area

The A96 has reopened after it was closed to the east of Inverness due to flash flooding in the area overnight.

Large amounts of silt were washed off neighbouring fields on to the road, leaving some drivers stuck for hours.

Heavy rain hit Inverness and Nairn between 2200 BST and midnight on Thursday.

The fire and rescue service said a number of homes in Nairn suffered damage as a result of the rapid build-up of flood water.

Further flooding was avoided due to staff from Highland Council putting down sandbags and fire crews pumping water out of some areas - including Nairn's Trades Park Road and Union Street.

The A96 road between the Balloch turnoff and Tornagrain was particularly badly hit.

Diversions were in place during the closure.

Flooding in Nairn
Rain water rushes down a street in Nairn

Catherine Bunn, of Highland Campervans near Dalcross, said there had been traffic chaos.

She said a police car sent to help stranded motorists became stuck itself, along with a small lorry.

Ms Bunn said the force of the water coming off the fields was "tremendous".

She said Kerrowaird farm house was "turned into a castle with a moat".

"Aside from devastating the gardens and the paddock, the mud from the fields flowed with such a force the driveway material has been washed down the drive track and onto the A96," she added.

"Our drive is now impassable by cars as the rainwater has carved out grooves in the track almost 2ft deep in places and uncovered large boulders in the track."

Thunderstorms and localised flooding have affected the Highlands since the start of the week.

The Met Office forecast for Saturday is for wet and windy conditions across northern Scotland, with locally heavy rain across the far north.



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