UK weather: Two bridges washed away in floods after evacuations in Scotland

Oct 29, 2021 News

UK weather: Two bridges washed away in floods after evacuations in Scotland

Two bridges have been washed away in Scotland after a major incident was declared to evacuate 500 properties from flooding. 

Residents in Hawick were forced to leave their homes as rising water levels caused the Teviot to burst its banks in parts of the Scottish Borders town.

Network Rail was forced to close the line between Dumfries and Carlisle on Thursday night. 

It tweeted: "Two road bridges have been washed away on the river Annan, north of the railway. We’re unable to allow trains to pass over the Annan Viaduct pending a daylight safety inspection."

People in the most at-risk areas in Hawick were warned to prepare to flee at short notice overnight amid fears that hundreds of properties could be under threat.

NHS Borders also closed the Teviot Health Centre and all services that operate within the facility as the council opened the Teviotdale Leisure Centre to provide assistance to those displaced by the risk of flooding.

Several schools in Dumfries and Galloway were closed after flooding blocked roads. On Thursday night, there were 19 flood warnings in place across Scotland, 14 of them in the Scottish Borders.

The flooding, in pictures

UK weather: Two bridges washed away in floods after evacuations in Scotland

UK weather: Two bridges washed away in floods after evacuations in Scotland

UK weather: Two bridges washed away in floods after evacuations in Scotland

Rail staff diverted to Carlisle amid flooding chaos

Train services from the north to London have been cancelled as rail firms redirected staff to Carlisle to combat the flooding problems. 

Avanti West Coast suspended its normal services and did not run a train this morning from Blackpool to London Euston "to enable us to free up drivers and train managers to work to Carlisle".

The timetable will not return to normal until Monday, Avanti confirmed, and said that the disruption could last even longer "depending on the flooding".

There were also warnings that floods would cause sewage discharges to rise in the north-west of England.

Data from campaign group Surfers Against Sewage showed overflows in 14 sites along the coast this week as floods hit Cumbria.

Sewage discharges were expected to rise in Cumbria as the local water company continued dumping waste after spilling the most in the country last year.

United Utilities spilled untreated sewage for 726,450 hours last year, higher than any other water company.

Spills are only supposed to take place following extremely wet weather as rainwater overwhelms the system.

The firm said it had more sewer overflows and sewers that combined rain and sewage, leading to higher figures.

A United Utilities spokesman said: “During storm conditions, when sewers and treatment plants are operating at full capacity, we are permitted to spill excess storm water from combined sewer overflows to help prevent the flooding of streets, homes and businesses.”

Your weather forecast

Yellow weather warnings for rain remain in place for the west of mainland Britain. 

Spells of heavy rain will spread southeast across Wales, the south west and Scotland before clearing east through Friday.

What to expect:

  • Flooding of a few homes and businesses is likely
  • Bus and train services probably affected with journey times taking longer
  • Spray and flooding on roads probably making journey times longer
  • There are 23 flood warnings in place in England – where flooding is expected – and 49 flood alerts where flooding is possible. 

    Thirty-three flood alerts are in place across Wales and in Scotland there are 14 flood warnings and seven flood alerts. 

    According to the Met Office, widespread flooding is expected from surface water and probable from rivers across west and south Cumbria.

    The flooding also affect parts of Lancashire and the mid to south Pennines.

    Properties may flood and there may be travel disruption.

    Local flooding is also possible for parts of the north of Wales, as well as elsewhere across England and Wales from Thursday to Saturday. 

    Be informed – via email – about the latest news stories as soon as they break. Click here to sign up to Telegraph Breaking News Alerts.