HeadLine: SEA SIDE SPECIAL
The Mirror, 02/02/2002, p7
by SHAUN MILNE
SCOTLAND was on flood alert yesterday as driving rain and gales
returned with a vengeance, causing travel chaos and plunging hundreds
of homes into darkness.
A husband and wife had a lucky escape when they drove their car into a
swamp at Glen Capel near Dumfries when the river Nith poured over its
The tourists – who have not been named – had to be plucked from their
partially submerged vehicle by the local inshore lifeboat team and were
checked over by a doctor before being allowed to leave.
One local said: “They were very fortunate – the crew had to react very
quickly or they could have drowned. Their car is a write-off.”
Rail users, mainly in the west of Scotland, fared little better as a
massive electricity pylon was blown onto tracks near Carstairs, in
The River Clyde was widely expected to burst its banks but sandbagging
appeared to be keeping the waters at bay.
Thirteen other flooding alerts were in place, with Perthshire warned of
Many homes were also left without electricity for the second time in a
week as Scottish Power reported 400 homes without a supply, mainly in
the Western Isles.
Gusts of up to 80mph hit parts of Lewis and the Hebrides but most parts
of the country saw top wind speeds of around 60mph.
High tides led the Scottish Evironment Protection Agency (Sepa) to
issue flood warnings on the Firth of Forth and the Rivers Tay, Earn and
North Esk. Many homes, businesses and farms near the River Earn, in
Perthshire, suffered flood damage.
West coast ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne cancelled services from
Stornoway to Ullapool, Berneray to Leverburgh on Lewis and Tayinloan to
Other routes including Portavadie to Tarbert, Raasay to Sconser and
Largs to the Isle of Cumbrae, were suspended.
Weather conditions were not as severe as on Monday, when winds of up to
120mph caused the deaths of three people, but motorists were warned not
make any journeys unless absolutely necessary.
A spokeswoman for the Met Office said: “There have been gusts of up to
80mph in exposed areas.
“The gales are not as strong as Monday, but it’s still very much a
“The severe weather will stay throughout Saturday, easing up on Sunday
but it will remain unsettled throughout next week.”
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