Flash flooding traps shoppers


Published: Monday 22nd December 2014 by The News Editor

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Flash flooding has caused major disruption in parts of Scotland, with dozens of people rescued from a supermarket and one passenger injured after a train hit water on the line.

Firefighters attended 11 flood-related incidents in Ayrshire as crews worked to rescue people and clear water from homes after heavy overnight rain.

In Kilmarnock, 42 customers and staff were ferried to safety after becoming stranded by floodwater at an Asda supermarket shortly after 6.10am.

Part of Queen’s Drive Retail park had become flooded after the River Irvine burst its banks.

Water rescue crews from Polmadie and Ayr used two rigid inflatable boats to carry those stranded from the store.

An Asda spokeswoman said the store had been closed and sandbags put in place to try and prevent water getting inside.

Elsewhere, a passenger was treated for a minor head injury after a train came to a halt when it hit floodwater near Mauchline in Ayrshire at around 12.20am.

A spokeswoman for ScotRail said: ”Last night’s 22:12 Glasgow Central to Carlisle service came to a halt after striking a large volume of water between Kilmarnock and Auchinleck.

”The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service attended and all passengers were evacuated safely and as soon as possible.

”One passenger was treated on site for a minor head injury.

”We are currently working with Network Rail to move the train and reopen the line as soon as possible.”

Fire and rescue crews led more than 30 people to safety after the train became stranded in approximately five feet of water.

Firefighters used ladders to create a three-metre bridge from a carriage, which allowed those on board to be led to safety.

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: ”Floodwater poses hidden dangers and people should avoid walking or driving through it.

”It may appear safe but you can’t see hazards beneath the surface or even potentially strong currents. Around six inches of water can be enough to knock an adult off their feet.

”Even when standing water has cleared the surfaces are of course likely to be slippery for some time, which means drivers are more likely to lose control and need greater distances to stop safely.

”We would urge people to stay aware of the conditions, exercise caution and obviously follow any advice from local authorities and the police.”

The flooding has led to severe disruption to train services between Glasgow Central and Newcastle via Carlisle.

The Whitesands in Dumfries has also been closed due to the River Nith flooding, with cars being removed from car parks on the road.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) currently has 10 alerts and 27 warnings in place across Scotland.

Environment Minister Aileen McLeod said: ”We have seen some areas of very localised flooding in Scotland today as a result of persistent and heavy rain overnight.

”The Scottish Government is continuing to work with Sepa, local authorities and the emergency services to co-ordinate a multi-agency response and ensure that people and businesses are fully prepared for possible flooding.

”The situation is being monitored closely and we are grateful for the efforts of the emergency responders who evacuated shoppers from flash-flooding in Kilmarnock today.

”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.”

Cumbria Police have warned motorists to adjust their speed due to deteriorating road conditions following heavy rain.

A number of roads in the county have reportedly flooded, particularly in the central Lakes, including the B5305 at Sour Nook, the A592 between Newby Bridge and Bowness, and the A591 between Rydal Water and Ambleside.

A police spokesman said: “The roads are passable but police would like to take this opportunity to remind motorists to alter their driving style to match the conditions. Motorists are advised to allow extra time for their journey, slow down and not to attempt to drive through flooded roads.”

Published: Monday 22nd December 2014 by The News Editor

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