Search resumes for woman swept into river amid heavy rain

Searches have resumed efforts to find a woman who was swept into a river as torrential rain battered parts of Scotland.

Officers from Police Scotland, alongside Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the coastguard, have resumed efforts to locate the missing woman.

They had been called to the River Don at Monymusk in Aberdeenshire on Friday afternoon after a report of someone in difficulty.

It is understood she had been attempting to rescue a dog when she got into difficulty.

The search had to be stood down on Friday night, but has now started again.

Inspector Rory Campbell from Police Scotland said: “Officers, along with colleagues from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the Coastguard, have resumed searches in the area where the woman was last seen.”

He added: “Conditions are tricky and dangerous and I am appealing to members of the public to stay away from flooded areas.

“Please be careful when you are out and about.”

It came after heavy rain battered much of the east of Scotland on Friday with several severe flood warnings issued.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) revealed that in Brechin river levels on the South Esk reached their highest on record, while in Ballater the River Dee reached the second highest level ever.

The wet weather caused major disruption to travel, with roads and rail services affected.

Flooding also resulted in the closure of some schools on Friday, with centres set up for those unable to stay in their homes.

Train services were still being impacted on Saturday morning after what operator ScotRail described as “extreme rainfall”.

However by early afternoon the rail operator reported that all lines were now open again.

There was also localised flooding in some parts of Edinburgh, with pictures showing the Crewe Toll roundabout in the west of the city submerged.

The Scottish Government’s resilience committee met on Friday and again on Saturday to monitor the situation.

Justice Secretary and lead minister for resilience Keith Brown afterwards thanked the emergency services and other agencies working to “ensure those communities most at risk are kept safe, and urgently get the support they need”.

Mr Brown added: “Although the situation appears to be improving, we still have flood warnings in place so please take extra care if you are out and about and do not attempt to walk or drive through flood water.

“The conditions continue to cause some disruption to the transport network, so it’s important people plan their journeys before they set off, particularly if they are looking to use the trunk roads or travel by rail.

“The Scottish Government’s resilience arrangements remain activated to ensure appropriate measures are in place, and we will continue to monitor the situation over the course of the weekend.

“We remain in close contact with resilience partners, local authorities and the emergency services to ensure people in the affected areas receive the latest information, advice and support where needed.”

Pascal Lardet, Sepa’s flood duty manager, said Friday had seen a “serious and significant flood event, particularly in the north east”.

However he added that the record high river flows which had been seen were “now receding”.

Mr Lardet stated: “In the South Esk at Brechin we saw the highest river level on record, with the area’s new flood protection scheme significantly reducing the impact of fast flowing water and on the River Dee at Ballater, we saw the second highest river level recorded.

“Whilst today we’re seeing an improving picture, a number of regional alerts and local flood warnings remain in force which we’ll review across the day.”

He added: “We’ll continue to see some wet weather over the week end as affected areas recover and our advice remains the same, stay vigilant; keep checking the latest information from Sepa and public partners; if you haven’t done so already, register for free alerts and warnings from Sepa’s floodline service; plan any travel with care and don’t drive or walk through or near flood water.”