Woman ‘trying to rescue dog’ swept into river as heavy rain and flooding hit Scotland

The search for a woman swept into the burgeoning swell of the River Don in Aberdeenshire while attempting to rescue her dog has resumed after heavy rain and flooding battered much of eastern Scotland on Friday.

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.

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 comes after more than a month’s worth of rainfall, totalling 140mm, fell in Charr in Aberdeenshire on Thursday.

A severe amber warning was in place until 9pm on Friday, covering an area running from Aberdeenshire to just north of Dundee, where meteorologists warned of a “danger to life from fast-flowing or deep floodwater”.

Flooding at Edinburgh’s Crewe Toll junction on Friday (Edinburgh Evening News screengrab)
Flooding at Edinburgh’s Crewe Toll junction on Friday (Edinburgh Evening News screengrab)

Shocking footage and images also showed at least one driver losing control of a car in deep floodwater at a normally busy road junction in the capital Edinburgh. Parts of the M92 to Dundee and M9 to Stirling were among those brought to a standstill by the conditions.

Rail services in some of the worst affected places were still unable to run on Saturday morning, with operator ScotRail saying the “extreme rainfall” means it is “unlikely” trains in some areas will restart before 12pm.

A motorist drives along a flooded road in Mountsorrel, Leicestershire (PA Wire)
A motorist drives along a flooded road in Mountsorrel, Leicestershire (PA Wire)

After “yesterday’s extreme rainfall, services on the Fife Circle & between Aberdeen & Dundee are unlikely to start before noon today”, it tweeted.

Staff from Network Rail need to assess conditions on the rails in daylight, it added.

Torrential rain hit much of the northeast of Scotland, with roads and rail travel impacted, schools closed and centres set up for those unable to stay in their homes.

Power cuts also affected areas including Inverurie, Kintore, Stonehaven, Portlethen and Hatton of Fintray, as the Met Office said over a month’s rain had fallen in Charr in Aberdeenshire, with the total recorded as 140 millimetres.

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

On Friday evening, the justice secretary and lead minister for resilience, Keith Brown, chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government’s resilience committee.

Flooding in Edinburgh on Friday (PA Wire)
Flooding in Edinburgh on Friday (PA Wire)

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

“We are 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.”

With additional reporting from PA