THE north-east was on flood alert last night as torrential downpours battered the region and power cuts plunged hundreds of homes into darkness.
Travel warnings were also issued to Monday morning commuters as forecasters said a month’s rain could fall in the space of less than 24 hours.
The Met Office issued a yellow “be aware” alert for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire and an amber “be prepared” warning for the Moray area.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) issued flood alerts for Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray.
More than four inches of rain is expected to fall, and police advised motorists to take care on the roads and said there could be localised flooding.
Meanwhile, Scottish and Southern Energy engineers were battling to restore power to as many as 700 homes in Aberdeenshire.
Families in Oldmeldrum, Tarves, Ellon and Inverurie were left without electricity.
The power giant apologised to customers and said it was aiming to have them reconnected before midnight.
A police spokeswoman said: “There is a possibility of flooding in low-lying land, roads and to rivers, which could also cause delays to early morning traffic.
“Police are asking that the public allow extra time for travel and if driving, to be aware of possible flooding.”
Graeme Whipps, an operational meteorologist for the Met Office, said: “We’re looking at quite a wet spell of weather coming up.
“It should slowly brighten up and turn more showery later on Monday, although the showers could turn quite heavy with longer spells of rain. It’s looking set to be a very unsettled 24 hours.”
Up to two inches of rain was expected to fall over night, although forecasters warned it could be more in western Aberdeenshire and Moray.
Marc Becker, hydrology duty manager for Sepa, urged motorists to allow plenty of time for their journeys.
He added: “Wet and windy weather is expected over many parts of Scotland which has the potential to result in some localised flooding, especially across the east and north of the country.”
Stein Connelly, operator manager for Traffic Scotland, said: “The Met Office is telling us that parts of the north-east and Highlands and islands are likely to face difficult road conditions due to heavy rain into Monday morning.
“We would advise people in these areas to prepare for some travel disruption and to allow extra time for their journeys.”
By tomorrow forecasters are expecting the heaviest of the rain to be gone and although it will be windy, Mr Whipps said it should not be as strong as in the central belt.