Bridges wash away as downpours lash Scotland and weather alerts remain for days

29 October 2021, 14:16 | Updated: 29 October 2021, 14:18

By James Morris

Two bridges have been washed away after heavy flooding hit parts of Scotland.

The road bridges, spanning the River Annan, collapsed and were swept away on Thursday night.

Network Rail Scotland subsequently decided to close the nearby Annan viaduct, forcing the closure of rail services between Dumfries and Carlisle while safety checks are carried out.

The heavy downpours also caused flooding in other parts of southern Scotland, as well as Cumbria in the north-west of England.

Flood Waters Issued For The Scottish Borders
Flood Waters Issued For The Scottish Borders. Picture: Getty

While the rain eased and clean-up operations commenced on Friday, the Met Office issued “yellow” weather warnings, lasting until Monday, for a number of UK regions.

It means parts of Scotland, Wales and the north-west, south-west and south-east of England could still face flooding over the weekend.

As well as the two bridges and rail cancellations caused by Thursday’s downpours, about 40 homes were flooded and other homes were evacuated.

Cockermouth Mountain Rescue in Cumbria also had to rescue two tourists and their dog from chest-high floodwater in Southwaite Mill on Thursday.

Read more: Eco protesters wander down M25 towards oncoming traffic in latest demonstration

Andy Brown, flood risk manager for the Environment Agency, said the damage would have been far worse if it wasn’t for flood defences.

He told BBC Radio Cumbria: "Those defences can't protect us 100% of the time and many people sadly in Cumbria well know, whether you be in Keswick or Carlisle or a number of other places, there will come a point when those defences will be over-topped.

"I'm very grateful today that many thousands of properties avoided being flooded because of those magnificent flood defences."