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Hundreds of homes evacuated as parts of Scotland hit by 4ins of rain

Around 200 properties are being evacuated amid fears of rising river levels following heavy rain.

Arrangements are being made for residents to leave their homes in parts of Elgin, Moray, as the level of the River Lossie continues to rise.

Heavy rain across the north of Scotland saw more than 30 flood warnings issued today in areas including Aberdeenshire, Moray and Caithness.

Almost a month's rainfall was recorded to have fallen in 12 hours in Lossiemouth, Moray, while parts of Aberdeenshire saw wind gusts of 50mph.

Transport is being arranged to take residents to a rest centre being set up at Elgin High School, Moray Council said.

A spokesman said: "With a high tide expected around 1pm, the afternoon hours are expected to be critical and it is intended that the evacuation will take place over lunchtime and the early afternoon.

"Residents being evacuated will be called on by members of Moray Council staff."

Transport Scotland and its partners, including the local authorities, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) and Police Scotland, are monitoring the situation closely.

A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said the River Carron and River Deveron are been being closely monitored, with flood protection equipment and flood wardens deployed in Stonehaven and Huntly as a precaution.

Drivers were urged to exercise caution on the A96 Keith to Elgin road which was blocked in both directions due to flooding, Traffic Scotland said.

On the rail network, flooding at Kingussie meant trains were unable to run between Perth and Inverness, while buses were replacing trains between Elgin and Huntly.

The Met Office issued yellow "be aware" warnings of rain for the Central, Tayside and Fife, Grampian, Highlands and Islands, and Strathclyde areas for throughout the day.

The worst of the rain would clear from north east Scotland but heavy showers are still likely, forecasters warned. The rain will also be accompanied by unseasonably strong winds in places, with gusts of 50-60mph.

They said the more persistent heavy rain would affect parts of the Highlands, along with Skye and the Outer Hebrides.

Police said flood alerts are still in place, with particular focus in the Huntly and Elgin areas along the rivers Spey, Lossie, Dee and Deveron.

A rest centre has also been set up at the Linden Centre in Huntly, while Aberdeenshire and Moray councils are providing sandbags for concerned residents.

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