Heavy rainfalls caused severe flooding in Aberdeenshire, Scotland as the River Don overflew its banks on the night of January 7 to 8, 2016. Numerous evacuations have taken place in the Inverurie town in the center of the county as water levels reached record high values. The spell of severe weather has been forecast to continue through the weekend.
Torrential downpours in eastern Scotland wreaked havoc across the area overnight. Traffic disruptions, closed roads, and downed power lines have been reported while about 40 homes in Inverurie and Port Elphinstone were evacuated due to the threat of rising flood waters.
Further 18 homes were evacuated in Ellon as the River Ythan threatened to rise over its banks.
The rail line between Aberdeen and Dundee has been closed due to flooding, media reported. Services between Aberdeen and Inverness have also been strongly affected by the flooding conditions. Two severe flood warnings have been issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) prior to the event. After repairs have been conducted, the Aberdeen International Airport runway has re-opened.
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Over 30 schools across Aberdeenshire region have been either entirely or partially shut down on January 8. 24 roads have closed in Aberdeenshire and another 13 in Tayside.
The water levels of River Don at Parkhill reached their peak values of 5.537 m (18.16 feet) on January 8. Previous high level record, set in November 2002, measured 4.168 m (13.674 feet), according to the SEPA.
Aboyne in Aberdeenshire set new record for the monthly rainfall amount in the first seven days of January 2016 as 188 mm (7.4 inches) of precipitation was reported.
The UK Met Office issued yellow warnings for rain and snowfall in Scotland, as the spell of wet and cold weather is set to continue. According to SEPA, the river levels in the area are still on the rise, and the public has been advised to avoid traveling wherever possible.
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Scottish police has declared a "major incident": "A number of roads throughout the region remain closed and I want to remind the public of the need to travel with extreme caution. With freezing temperatures expected, conditions will be hazardous and you should only travel if essential. Do not drive or walk through flood water as man-hole covers may have lifted and there may also be structural damage," police Chief Supt Thomson warned.
Featured image: Severe flooding in eastern Scotland, January 8, 2016. Image credit: Royl News