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Residents evacuated as village is flooded again

RESCUE boats were called in to evacuate about 100 residents from their homes in the Perthshire village of Comrie after 50mm of overnight rain caused a river to burst its banks.

FORCE OF NATURE: Heavy rains and high winds have caused widespread flood damage
FORCE OF NATURE: Heavy rains and high winds have caused widespread flood damage

The latest disaster to hit the community came just three months after similar floods. The damage was again caused by the Ruchill, a tributary of the River Earn, overflowing.

In the Trossachs, homes were also flooded in Dunblane, Callander and Aberfoyle, where police closed the main street in both directions.

Today further heavy rain and gusts of up to 60mph are threatening yet more disruption for flood-hit communities.

Comrie's flood in August was described as the "worst in years", but yesterday about 70 firefighters battled the fast-rising water, trying to pump it away from homes, while a further seven specialist appliances including one heavy rescue unit and an environmental protection unit were also called to help.

A rest centre was set up at a local church to give shelter to householders and residents who had been evacuated from nearby care homes.

Roseanna Cunningham, MSP for Perthshire South and Kinross-shire, said the situation was "absolutely awful" as she visited the village.

She added: "I really feel for the people of Comrie.

"This is the second time in just a few short months that the Ruchill has flooded and there is no doubt this event has been very much worse than August's flood was.

"There is a lot of very understandable frustration and anger this has happened again and the council really needs to get on top of this and ensure that there is no further flooding."

The Met Office has issued yellow-level "be aware" warnings for the whole of mainland Scotland and the Western Isles, urging motorists to prepare for potentially hazardous conditions as already saturated ground risks being flooded by a further 10mm-20mm of rain.

A Met Office warning is in place until 2pm, with the worst of the wind and rain expected to be over by mid-afternoon. It applies to every region of Scotland with the sole exception of Orkney and Shetland.

Boats and rescue equipment were used to carry eight stranded residents, and two dogs, from their homes in Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire, after the River Cree rose up to 10ft above its normal levels in places. In Dumfries, shops and bars were flooded alongside the Nith as it again burst its banks.

An emergency rest centre was opened up within Ballantrae Community Centre to accommodate travellers affected by road closures on the A77, A76 and other local roads in the south-west.

The A814 was shut at Rhu in Argyll and Bute, while flooding on the M8 at the Anderston Cross junction in Glasgow caused tailbacks. The Forth Bridge was shut to double-decker buses, and there were disruptions to at least 13 CalMac routes.

In Glasgow, rising floodwater forced Strathclyde Police to evacuate its dog unit in Pollok Country Park.

All animals were taken from their kennels after the Scottish Environment Protection Agency flashed a "take action" flood warning.

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