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Scotland braced for Storm Frank

Published: 29 Dec 2015 16:18

Ministers meet as strong winds and heavy rain to bring risk of significant flooding.

Members of the public are being advised to prepare for heavy rain and strong winds as Storm Frank sweeps across the country.

The First Minister, Deputy First Minister and portfolio Ministers have this afternoon taken part in a resilience call and been updated on the emerging weather situation and the work underway with local partnerships to co-ordinate the response and ensure at risk areas are as prepared as possible.

The Met Office has issued an Amber warning for persistent and heavy rain overnight and into tomorrow (Wednesday December 30, 2015) for large parts of Central and Southern Scotland and up into Angus and Aberdeenshire. This is expected to result in widespread significant flooding, particularly in Dumfries & Galloway and western parts of the Borders, with the possibility of severe flooding in some areas. A Yellow, Be Aware, warning for rain is in place for much of the rest of the country.

A Yellow alert for strong winds has also been issued for much of Scotland which could see gusts of 70-80 mph and coastal overtopping in northern and western parts of the mainland and islands.

Environment Minister Aileen McLeod said:

"Winter storms have already had an impact on parts of Scotland, and even more extreme conditions are expected with the arrival of Storm Frank.

"The forecast is for strong winds and heavy and prolonged rainfall across much of the country, with the wettest weather expected across central and southern areas.

"In many places, ground is already saturated and river levels high. Members of the public in these areas should be alert to the risk of significant or even severe flooding and the potential for disruption.

"The situation is being closely monitored 24/7, and the First Minister and Deputy First Minister have participated in a resilience meeting to discuss the situation and the co-ordination of the response. We will continue to work closely with SEPA, the Met Office, local authorities and the emergency services to coordinate a multi-agency response and ensure that people and businesses are as prepared as possible for the impact of the weather and any potential flooding.

"I would encourage everyone to monitor SEPA's Floodline website for the latest flood information and to sign up to receive Floodline warnings direct to their phone."

Transport Minister Derek Mackay added:

"Storm Frank promises to bring more difficult travelling conditions than usual to parts of Scotland over the coming days.

"We will be doing everything we can to keep Scotland's transport networks operational throughout this latest period of bad weather, including increasing patrols on main routes and deploying teams to clear drainage systems in advance of the heavy rain.

"I would encourage everyone using the roads over this period to plan your journey by using the Traffic Scotland website and Twitter feed and listen to the latest Police advice before setting off."

Notes to editors

The Scottish Government's resilience arrangements are now running 24/7 and will provide Ministers with regular updates, including overnight.

For SEPA live flood updates see www.sepa.org.uk/floodupdates or call Floodline 0345 988 1188.

To sign up for free local Flood Warnings and regional Alerts, or for more information and advice on preparing for flooding, use SEPA's Floodline site www.floodlinescotland.org.uk or call Floodline 0345 988 1188.

Members of the public can also use the recently launched Report-a-Flood site http://www.floodlinescotland.org.uk/report-a-flood

The full alerts, including the Chief Forecaster's Assessment and a map showing the areas included in the alerts, are available at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings/

For real time journey information visit www.trafficscotland.org, follow @trafficscotland on Twitter or call 0800 028 14 14

The Scottish Government's Ready Scotland website provides the public with a range of advice and information on preparing for winter weather. Further information is available at www.readyscotland.org

The Scottish Government's Ready for Winter campaign was activated from 28 December and will run until the 31 December to encourage Scottish households to stay informed about weather conditions, take steps to be prepared and think if there are others in their community they could help who might be more at risk from severe weather. The campaign runs across local radio, community radio and online advertising.

Research in 2014 identified that individuals are more receptive and responsive to messages about preparing for severe weather when there is an imminent risk. As a result the campaign has been structured to respond when an amber weather warning has been issued.