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Forecasters warn of more flooding as Scotland prepares for rain and high winds

Forecasters have warned of potential coastal flooding as more rain and high winds are set to hit Scotland.

Heavy rain and gusts of up to 60mph could sweep across the country tomorrow bringing further disruption after days of wet weather.

High tides and a storm surge have increased the risk of flooding in the Firth of Clyde, according to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).

A tidal surge is expected around lunchtime tomorrow, particularly around the Firth of Clyde, Solway Firth and Ayrshire, the Scottish Government said.

Sepa has issued a flood alert for west central Scotland, warning that high water during early afternoon on Friday will be "exceptionally high" with large waves likely.

It has also issued eight flood alerts and 17 flood warnings for other parts of Scotland.

The Met Office has issued yellow "be aware" warnings of heavy rains and strong winds for the Highlands and Western Isles, Strathclyde, Central, Tayside, Fife, Southwest Scotland and Lothian and Borders.

The Scottish Government's Resilience Room (SGoRR) met today to co-ordinate the response to the adverse weather.

Speaking afterwards Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse urged people to be alert and allow extra time for their journeys, with disruption possible on ferry and rail routes.

He said: "Sepa and the Met Office continue to monitor the impact that the forecast heavy rain and high tides and a tidal surge could have in some coastal areas tomorrow.

"While local responders are being kept informed, to make appropriate preparations, I urge people in areas surrounding the Firth of Clyde, Solway Firth and the Ayrshire coast to listen to local radio and to check the news and weather online so that they can remain vigilant to any weather disruption.

"Those living in areas affected by recent flooding in locations such as Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway, Scottish Borders and Tayside should be aware that saturated river catchments may react more quickly than normal to the rain we anticipate throughout Friday, with up to 50mm predicted on higher ground, but less at lower levels.

"Sepa's Floodline website is a very useful resource for the latest alerts and warnings, as a dynamic weather situation develops. Users can sign up to receive Floodline warnings direct to their mobile phone. This will help everyone to take appropriate and timely action to protect their homes and business premises."

He also asked people to check up on friends or neighbours, especially those who are elderly or vulnerable, to ensure that no-one is caught out if weather conditions deteriorate significantly.

Claire Austin, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: "There's going to more wind and rain, especially for the Glasgow area. Through the daytime we are expecting longer periods of rain and also very strong winds accompanying the rain with gusts reaching over 50mph and possibly even 60mph.

"The rain will be heaviest in the north and north west."

Saturday is likely to be drier but she predicted that heavy rain and strong winds will return on Sunday.

Earlier this week around 150 people were evacuated from their properties after torrential rain on December 30, with Dumfries and Galloway and Ayrshire particularly badly hit.

Seven people were airlifted to safety by a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter from a farmhouse near Closeburn in Thornhill, Dumfries and Galloway after it was cut off by flood water.

Around 40 houses in Kirkconnel, Dumfries and Galloway, were evacuated, as were 25 in Dumfries after the River Nith burst its banks, flooding the Whitesands area.

In Dundee, 50 properties were evacuated after heavy rain caused a wall to collapse and a landslide at the rear of properties in Gardner Street.

The Scottish Government said that 26,500 homes in Scotland experienced power disruptions due to storms over the festive period.

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