POWER cuts and road closures are threatening chaos in parts of Scotland which is on flood alert with heavy rain and gale force winds expected into Friday.

In the worst of the weather, expected to hit on Friday, rain will be accompanied by gusts of 50 mph possible inland and 60 mph around some coasts.

The Met Office has warned there was a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded on Thursday night causing damage to some buildings west of Glasgow due to rain.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) have issued flood alerts for Argyll & Bute, Ayrshire & Arran and Dumfries & Galloway.

The Met Office alert which lasts till 4am on Friday for parts of the west and south west of Scotland says that spray and flooding could lead to difficult driving conditions and some road closures, the forecasters said.

HeraldScotland:

Where flooding occurs, there was a chance of delays or cancellations to train and bus services.

A further alert for rain and wind kicks in from 1pm on Friday and for the rest of the day, with warnings of delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport and the possibility of flooding of homes and businesses.

The forecasters' warning which covers parts of the west and south west of Scotland, the Borders, Tayside and Grampian says there could be some short term loss of power and other services.

Coastal routes, sea fronts and coastal communities are expected to be affected by spray and large waves and the Met Office warned that flooding on roads will make journey times longer.

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: “A band of rain will move across the Irish sea and into western Britain on Thursday night extending across the UK through the night.

“We are looking at a much bigger pulse of rain coning in on Friday as a separate low-pressure system arrives from the Atlantic.

“This will affect all parts of the UK on Friday and into the weekend, there will be strong winds associated with this and it will remain windy into Saturday.

“Exposed and coastal regions will see the strongest winds with gusts of 60mph while inland gusts could touch 50mph.”

Sepa said that there is the potential for heavy rain from late Thursday evening and into Friday morning.

They warned that difficult driving conditions were likely because of surface water flooding issues particularly in build up areas.

High tides, large waves and spray could also impact exposed areas along the coast.

A stronger flood warning has been issued for the Churchill Barriers on Orkney where a combination of high tides and strong south-easterly winds means there is a high risk of "wave overtopping and hazardous conditions into Saturday.

Sepa said the risk is particularly high around the period two hours either side of the high tides on Friday at 12:15pm and early Saturday morning at 3am.