A helicopter was deployed to carry out aerial assessments at the Rest and Be Thankful in Argyll yesterday after approximately 2,500 tonnes of debris was caught in catch-fences following a series of landslips.
The A83 Tarbet to Campbeltown road at the Rest was still closed last night meaning a 60-mile diversion.
Yesterday’s clear skies and light winds allowed the clear up and assessment operation to begin.
The helicopter checked the condition of several large boulders which have become exposed, and teams reviewed the condition of the hillside since first light.
Work was also underway on the A83 carriageway to install temporary barriers to contain any material from reaching the Old Military Road below.
The three large boulders – the biggest estimated to be around 75 tonnes – have been identified some 984ft above the slope which are now exposed following the landslips and prolonged heavy rain.
Engineers are now working to secure the boulders by drilling into the rock and inserting a device which will help break the boulders into smaller pieces on the hillside, reducing the risk of further movement on the slope.
Tommy Deans, BEAR Scotland’s North West Network Manager, said: “Safety is our number one priority and we cannot open the A83 or the Old Military Road until these boulders high-up above the carriageway are made safe.
“We want to be as confident as possible that there will be no further movements of material or the boulders on the hillside before we open the Old Military Road as a diversion.
“We continue to thank the travelling public for their patience while we do everything we can to address the landslips. We encourage road users to follow the diversion route via Dalmally or to find an alternative form of transport.”
The clear up operation was also continuing in Oban yesterday after a large are of Lochavullin Retail Park flooded. The road to Tesco, M&S, Homebase and Argos was still closed, however pedestrians could access the stores.
An Argyll and Bute spokeswoman said: “We are using as many small portable pumps as are available for hire in Oban to pump out Lochavullin. Water levels are now down to between three and five inches on the carriageway and we should be able to open the road this evening.
“We are also procuring larger portable pumps from farther afield to provide a higher volume back up to the permanent pumping system, ahead of the next forecast storm on Friday.”
The poor weather is to return at the weekend, with a yellow weather warning in place for wind on Friday and a yellow warning for rain on Saturday.
In the Western Isles gusts are expected to reach up to 75mph. The local authority warned of disruption to ferry and air services.