MISERY AND DANGER returned to the north east on Thursday when torrential and persistent rain brought flooding and travel chaos throughout the region.
Travel between Aberdeen and Elgin became almost impossible with motorists stranded and having to be rescued at several points along the route – while those who did get through the flooded A96 found themselves facing snow blizzards as they approached Moray.
The A96 was closed because of flooding at the Inveramsay Bridge between Huntly and Inverurie, while rail and air travel was also hit with ScotRail having to halt services between Inverurie and Aberdeen as well as the main line between Aberdeen and Dundee.
Anyone hoping to fly from Aberdeen Airport also found that even if they made it to the terminal – with the A96 also flooded both ways at the Airport roundabout – they discovered flights cancelled because a hole had developed on the runway as a result of the persistent rain.
Last night the Met Office extended their existing Amber warning for flooding in many parts of Aberdeenshire and into Moray until 8am this morning, with Police Scotland issuing a plea to motorists not to travel.
A police statement issued just before 9pm last night said: “Please do not travel by car tonight, people are getting trapped in their cars in flooded areas. We urge people to check weather reports overnight and first thing in the morning.”
While Moray escaped the devastation wreaked on neighbouring Aberdeenshire, the A920 in Dufftown was blocked in both directions around the A941 junction last night following a landslip. Trees and mud washed down a hillside, narrowly missing a home before blocking the road – Moray Council were at the scene last night attempted to clear the road.
A police spokesman said: “At around 4.20pm the A920 road was closed in both directions as both lanes were blocked by a landslide. Police officers are assisting across the north east region and working with partners at Moray Council.”
There was some good news from the Met Office who say that the rain, sleet and snow affecting the Grampian region would be turning light and patchy from this morning, following by drier and brighter weather moving up from the south.
North East Scotland Police released this update: “We continue to advise against travel as road conditions in the region remain hazardous. Local authorities and BEAR Scotland have gritting lorries out to treat the roads, however gritting is likely to be less effective than usual due to the current flooding conditions.
“If you have to travel, we are advising to delay your journey and to leave plenty of time. Only travel if essential.”
Useful Links to check before leaving home this morning: