PERSISTENT heavy rain led to chaos on the roads and flooding in many areas of west and central Scotland last night.

The rain was expected to continue throughout the night, raising the prospect that motorists could face severe delays this morning.

By 10pm, Strathclyde Police reported at least five major roads and many minor routes were blocked by floodwater and subsequent mudslides.

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A power cable and tree were brought down on the Coylton to Stair Road in Ayrshire.

Strathclyde Fire Brigade said dozens of anxious householders in Argyll demanded that the council provide sandbags after rivers and burns overflowed.

Police said local authority roads department workers throughout the former Strathclyde region area were ''inundated with calls'' after cars became stuck on flooded roads.

Glasgow Weather Centre said leaves blocking drains and heavy rain throughout yesterday afternoon and early evening had contributed to the problems.

A fire brigade spokeswoman said dozens of householders in the Cowal Peninsula, including Dunoon, Rosneath, and Clynder, had requested assisted assistance after reporting flooding.

She said: ''We fielded dozens of calls between 6.30 and 9.30pm. Many people were saying their homes were in danger of being flooded after rivers and burns burst their banks. Most were wanting the council to bring sandbags.''

A police spokesman said the five main roads impassable by 10pm were the A809 at Stockiemuir, by Milngavie; the A814 at Rhu, where a mudslide had occurred; the A760 at Lochwinnoch; the B833 at Kilcreggan; and the Lenzie to Bishopbriggs road at Lenzie Loch.

The weather centre spokesman said the persistent rain would change to showers, accompanied by quite strong winds, by mid-morning today. More of the same is expected tomorrow.