David Faichney, SEPA’s Duty Flooding Manager said:
“As expected, parts of the country have experienced extreme rainfall over the last 24 hours or so, with one site near Dundee experiencing more rainfall in three hours last night than what it would normally see in the whole of an average July.
“More heavy rainfall is likely to come this afternoon and into Thursday. While impacts have been felt around the country already, the areas most likely to be worst affected later today are Findhorn, Moray, Nairn and Speyside, Easter Ross and the Great Glen, Wester Ross and parts of Caithness and Sutherland – although other areas could see heavy rainfall too.
“Due to the nature of thundery showers, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where will be worst hit, but what we do know is that it can happen quickly and can be highly localised.
“It’s important that those out and about, holidaying, engaging in activities near rivers and streams or out hillwalking are aware of the hazards and stay safe. Some rivers and streams can rise to dangerous levels very quickly, so avoid camping near water and be very mindful of conditions if considering activities such as swimming or canoeing.
“16 regional Flood Alerts and 3 Flood Warnings have been issued, and people living and working in affected areas are advised to plan their journeys and consider the steps they need to take now to be prepared, including keeping flood protection products, like sandbags, in place in high risk areas. You can stay up to date with regional Flood Alerts and local Flood Warnings at sepa.org.uk/floodupdates.
“Extreme weather such as prolonged heavy rain following a period of warm, dry weather, is something we will see more of as our climate changes and these patterns become more common in the future.
“SEPA is working 24/7 to monitor rainfall and river levels and is in close contact with the Met Office and other partners to review the forecasts, which are combined with local expertise from all regions of Scotland to understand and present the flooding risk. We would encourage the public to remain vigilant, especially in isolated, low lying agricultural areas susceptible to flooding. The most up-to-date information is always available on our website.”