Weather chaos hit the Highlands yesterday with landslides creating havoc in Argyll and Skye, ferry disruption along the west coast and a large part of Oban under several feet of water.
The A83 Tarbet to Campbeltown road was closed creating a 60-mile diversion after multiple landslides were caught in debris fencing at the Rest and Be Thankful.
Large areas of surface water covered many of the main roads around the Highlands.
A home in Soroba Road in Oban was flooded as the nearby Black Lynn Burn burst its banks. The fire service was called to pump water from the house.
Lochavullin Retail Park in the town suffered extensive flooding with Lynn Road closed just before the mini roundabout, preventing vehicles from accessing Tesco, M&S Food Hall, Homebase and Argos.
Pedestrians could still gain access to the shops by entering from the town centre end.
Inspector Mark Stephen of Oban Police Station said: “People were saying it was the worst they have seen it in that area.
“Some cars were still attempting to drive into the car park while it was flooded. Four or five cars which had been left there overnight were completely flooded, it was right over their doors and up to the windscreens.
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“One driver drove in and the water went up to the wheel arches. If you see a flooded road and you are not sure about the depth, don’t drive in. We got the driver out, she was just a bit wet and disappointed. That car will be a write off.”
A spokeswoman for Argyll and Bute Council, which owns the car park, said: “The standing water is caused by high tides and an exceptional amount of rain recently, and the strength of the wind backing up the Black Lynn towards the flooded area. Met Office records show there has been 200mm of rainfall in Oban over the last 48 hours alone. There are pumps in the area which will cope with reasonable quantities of water but not the volume of water we have experienced recently.
“We have been helping to protect affected properties with sandbags, where practical, and have been assisting the emergencies services when needed.
“We are looking at what we can do for flood alleviation as there is no obvious solution, given the coastal location and low lying land.
“Over rest of the week, we would encourage people to keep an eye on the weather forecast.”
A geotechnical assessment suggested it was unsafe to re-open the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful yesterday, or the Old Military Road diversion route below due to the heavy rain continuing to affect the slope above the carriageway.
Large amounts of debris from the hillside also reached three additional landslip mitigation fences elsewhere on the slope this morning, and the assessment has now been expanded to look at the approaches to the Old Military Road as a precaution.
The standard incident diversion route is now in place as an alternative route on the A83. An earlier accident on the diversion route on the A85 near Dalmally has since been cleared.
Tommy Deans, BEAR Scotland’s North West Network Manager, said: “Safety is our top priority, and we’re doing all we can to assess the slope and the extent of the debris from the steep hillside above the carriageway.
“At least four different debris fences have caught significant levels of material from landslips, however heavy rain is making conditions difficult for teams to assess the extent of the debris which has come down the hill and the likelihood of any further occurrences elsewhere on the slope.
“At this stage it is unlikely we’ll be able to safely open the A83 or the Old Military Road today until we are absolutely certain that the slope at the Rest and Be Thankful is safe, and until then we encourage road users to follow the diversion route via Dalmally or consider alternative travel options.”
Winds gusting up to 40mph caused disruption to ferries between Oban and Barra, Coll, Colonsay, Iona and Kerrera. Services between Mallaig and Armadale, the Small Isles and Lochboisdale also experienced disruption.
With the poor weather to continue today (wed) many services will again be disrupted.