Clearing up after the monsoon like conditions

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A CHRISTMAS Eve clear up operation is under way across Tayside, as emergency services, local authority workers and their partner agencies seek to restore normality to households and communities affected by the incessant rain of recent days.

And, while the weather has offered some respite, forecasters state there will be further showers later today, followed by an unsettled latter half of the week.

In light of this Tayside Police and its partners will be maintaining a close watch on the rivers, burns and water courses in the region. Although, they have receded in the last 24 hours or so, all of them are still swollen and fast moving and will remain so for some time. As such, members of the public are urged to stay clear of them.

The amount of rainfall over recent days has led to significant disruption on Tayside’s roads networks. While a clear up operation is underway today, it is still anticipated that some routes, mainly on more minor roads, will remain closed or at best passable with care.

Council staff in Angus will continue to work to clear debris from the roads infrastructure, and they will check and clear gullies, drains and culverts as necessary and re-open the roads when safe to do so.

Given that some roads will still be affected by standing water, Tayside Police continues to urge drivers to put safety first.

Anyone requiring police assistance can call Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222, or speak to their local police officer. In an emergency call 999.

Roads currently closed in Angus are:

C4 at Murroes

B9113 Forfar to Montrose road at Rescobie

U429 at Cairndrum, Edzell

C43 West Drums

Road currently considered passable with care –

B966

If you are driving, please slow down when approaching standing water to avoid risks of aqua planing. If you do experience aquaplaning, hold the steering wheel lightly and lift off the throttle until the tyres regain grip. Always be considerate of nearby pedestrians.

Tayside Police offers drivers the following information and advice in mind -

• Increase the gap between your vehicle and the one in front.

• On slippery roads it can take up to 10 times longer to stop.

• Reduce your speed and allow more time to slow down. Stop by decelerating earlier, rather than rely on braking alone.

• Use dipped headlights so you can see and be seen.

• If visibility is extremely poor (less than 100 metres visibility) then use fog lights, but switch them off whenever conditions improve or they will cause undue dazzle, which is an offence.

• Take care on flooded roads. The deepest water is usually nearest the kerb, select first gear and move forward immediately to avoid stalling the engine, while maintaining high engine revs. Test your brakes after passing through the water.

• On flood affected roads, if you vehicle loses grip, or aquaplanes, take your foot off the accelerator to slow down.

• Avoid standing water if at all possible.

• If you break down in heavy rain. Do not prop the bonnet open while you wait for assistance to arrive. The engine will be more difficult to start again if the electrics are rain-soaked.

People are advised to make use of traffic information websites such as www.trafficscotland.org

There are also regular updates on AA Roadwatch

Further Information on the kind of disruption that might be experienced is available at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/guide/weather/severe-weather-advice.

The full Alerts, with maps of the area affected, can be viewed on hazard manager or on website http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings/.

People should also be aware of local television and radio bulletins for updates on the latest weather and travel information. Details on any council and trunk road closures can be found at http://trafficscotland.org.

Local authority websites carry further useful information in relation to various services and people should also log on to the Safer Scotland Ready For Winter? website on www.readyscotland.org for more valuable information.

Floodline, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

• Floodline is Scotland’s 24-hour flooding information service, operated by SEPA

• Online and by phone, it provides up to date information on river and coastal flood risk across the country including what Flood Warnings or Alerts are in force.

• You can receive these directly to your phone, free of charge, by registering here: http://floodline.sepa.org.uk/floodingsignup

• It is also a source of advice and information on flood risk, minimising the effect that flooding can have on your home or business, and what to do before, during and after a flood.