Scotland has been hit by widespread flooding and travel chaos as heavy rain and strong winds from Storm Desmond battered the country.

The River Nith in Dumfries and the the River Teviot in Hawick have burst their banks.

The M90, A9 and A82 have all been closed, along with several other main roads across the country.

HeraldScotland:

A Met Office amber alert for heavy rain covers areas across central and southern Scotland through until Sunday.

HeraldScotland:

More than 80 flood alerts and flood warnings are in place and the amber warnings for rain affect Strathclyde, Central, Tayside, Fife, South West Scotland, Lothian and Borders.

HeraldScotland: Glasgow on amber alert for heavy rain as Storm Desmond hits

An amber warning for wind has also been put in place for South West Scotland, Lothian and Borders - with forecasts of gales gusting up to 70mph.

HeraldScotland:

Grampian and the Highlands had an earlier amber warning for rain reduced to yellow.

Traffic Scotland said police were urging drivers to take care and were warning against road travel in the Borders.

HeraldScotland:

The Met Office said: "Be prepared for the likelihood of flooding affecting properties and parts of communities. Watercourses may become dangerous, deep and fast-flowing, while some transport disruption seems likely."

Rainfalls of 60 to 100mm are likely, with some mountainous areas facing the possibility of 200mm over a 30-hour period.

Marc Becker, from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, said: "Across Scotland we have seen rivers have risen significantly overnight and they will continue to rise and remain very high throughout Saturday.

"We have already seen significant transport disruption, including arterial road and rail links and property flooding across wide areas of central and southern Scotland today. We are particularly concerned that the flooding situation will deteriorate further later today in the south west of Scotland and Tayside.

"In areas of the western Scottish Borders, particularly around Hawick, we may see significant flooding impacts affecting a large number of properties, roads and infrastructure during Saturday evening. Similar impacts may also occur within the Tay catchment in Perthshire."

HeraldScotland:

The M90 is closed both ways between J8 and J9 and road operator Bear Scotland said teams were on site with pumps and excavators. The A9 is blocked in both directions around Dalguise in Perth and Kinross.

 

The M9 had been closed southbound between J9 and 11 but has now reopened, while the A82 Glasgow to Inverness road has been closed by flooding and landslides between Spean Bridge and Invergarry.

For updates about travel issues, check the Traffic Scotland website.

HeraldScotland:

Dumfries and Galloway Council said it was preparing for flooding similar to that which hit the region in 2009.

Police Scotland said the Whitesands in Dumfries had been closed after the River Nith burst its banks and that it was likely to remain closed for the rest of Saturday.

As well as problems in Dumfries, sandbags were being deployed in Langholm and Annan.

A number of properties in Hawick were evacuated in the early hours of Saturday, with more evacuations taking place on Saturday afternoon.

HeraldScotland:

A Scottish Borders Council spokesman said: "The situation is likely to get worse during the day and residents may not have much time to prepare when the waters rise.

"The Teviotdale Leisure Centre has been opened as a rest centre and residents have been directed there."

Residents were also being told to move their vehicles to higher ground.

A supply of sandbags has been put in place in Alyth, in Perth and Kinross, which was badly flooded in the summer, and conditions on the Alyth Burn will be checked throughout the weekend.

Stormy conditions have also affected rail travel, with trains between Perth and Inverness cancelled until the early afternoon after flooding on the track at Kingussie.

Ferry operators have issued alerts over possible delays and cancellations and urged passengers to check ahead.

Several Scottish Premiership matches and rugby games have also been postponed after early pitch inspections.

A major incident has been declared in Cumbria after some residents were forced to evacuate their homes in towns effectively cut off by flooding.

HeraldScotland:

Cumbria Police officers and mountain rescue teams are helping to take people from their homes in Keswick and Appleby to a centre in a local school.

They added that all roads surrounding Keswick are now closed, having been badly affected by the flooding - especially the A66.

In a statement Cumbria Police said: "Motorists are advised not to travel unless absolutely necessary as it would pose a major risk to personal safety and the safety of other members of the public."