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Storm Callum: 70mph winds and heavy rain batters Scotland

A yellow warning is in place for western and northern areas on Friday and Saturday.

Storm Callum is battering Scotland, bringing 70mph winds and heavy rain.

A yellow warning is in place for western and northern areas on Friday and Saturday.

Areas including the Highlands, the Hebrides and Argyll are experiencing the highest gusts.

Major travel disruption is also being caused throughout the country.

Traffic Scotland has warned drivers to take care crossing the Clackmannanshire and Tay Road bridges due to the high winds. Drivers passing over the M898 Erskine Bridge and A9 Dornoch Bridge have also been advised to proceed with caution.

High-sided vehicles are prohibited from crossing the A87 Skye Bridge over Loch Alsh.

This commuter battled the elements on Friday morning.
This commuter battled the elements on Friday morning. SWNS

At 8.55am, all lanes on the Forth Road Bridge were closed in both directions due to high winds. The disruption was expected to last 15 minutes, however the road was not given the all-clear until 9.48am.

CalMac Ferries has cancelled several services for the rest of the day, including Oban to Castlebay in Barra, and Mallaig in Lochaber to Armadale on the Isle of Skye.

Grounded: Ferries leaving Ardrossan were cancelled.
Grounded: Ferries leaving Ardrossan were cancelled. STV

Several ferry services between Ardrossan in North Ayrshire and Brodick on the Isle of Arran were also cancelled.

Argyll Ferries has also suspended its Gourock to Dunoon service until further notice. A replacement bus will operate in its place.

Heavy rain has caused further landslips at the Rest and be Thankful, delaying the reopening of the key route.

Around 2,500 tonnes of debris from multiple landslips was caught in specialist netting above the A83 in Argyll and Bute earlier this week, forcing motorists on a diversion of almost 60 miles.

Following safety work, traffic was led through under convoy this morning. However, heavy rain and further slips have led to its closure once more.

It was hoped a shorter diversion along the Old Military Road would be put in place, but Bear Scotland said it will not be possible until the new landslips have been assessed.

Closed: More slips have occurred.
Closed: More slips have occurred. Traffic Scotland

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has closed to the public until further notice due to safety concerns.

The popular attraction, which is a scientific centre for the study of plants, their diversity and conservation, will review the weather situation at lunch.

A spokeswoman told STV: "It's more so a safety precaution due to the wind gusts rather than the constant wind."

In Arrochar, Argyll and Bute, the main road next to Loch Long has flooded.

Cars are struggling to get through the water and are having to be pushed due to blocking off entrances to the local shop and hotel.

Police Scotland has been contacted for an update.

Arrochar: Cars are having issues getting through.
Arrochar: Cars are having issues getting through. Callum Robertson

On the Isle of Bute, the junction of High Street and Montague Street in Rothesay flooded early on.

James Stevenson told STV: "The water's gone, but the damage is done.

"When I was here this morning helping to clear drains, it was a foot and a half deep.

"We are all watching the tide just now - that's the next problem. It's very high and still rising."

Isle of Bute: The junction of High Street and Montague Street.
Isle of Bute: The junction of High Street and Montague Street. James Stevenson

The Glenburn Hotel, in Rothesay, also felt the full force of the storm as water poured down its steps following flooding.

Local residents have suffered damage to their homes, while businesses have reported loss of sales.

The majority of ScotRail services have not been affected by the storm, however at 2.06pm it was announced that trains between Kilwinning and Largs/Ardrossan were cancelled due to waves crashing over the sea wall at Saltcoats in North Ayrshire. Standby buses have been put in place.

The transport firm also advised those who live near railways to secure any trampolines and garden furniture.

STV weather presenter Sean Batty said: "Storm Callum will bring strong winds and bands of heavy rain to Scotland on Friday and Saturday.

"On Friday, winds will gust between 50 and 60 mph in western areas of the country with gusts to 70mph in the more exposed parts of the north west.

"Tide peaks will be a bit higher than usual after the new moon at the weekend, so large waves can be expected which could overtop some sea walls. This could lead to some localised coastal flooding issues.

'On Friday, winds will gust between 50 and 60 mph in western areas of the country with gusts to 70mph in the more exposed parts of the north west'
Sean Batty

"Callum will also bring some heavy rain, with a band of rain on Friday morning, then another coming in from the south on Friday afternoon."

Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders will be among the worst affected areas for rain on Saturday.

Sean added: "Further heavy rain on Saturday could lead to some flooding, with the main risk in the south, across the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway and perhaps parts of the Clyde Valley.

'If you are travelling you should ensure you and your vehicle are adequately prepared'
Police Scotland spokesman

"Up to 100mm of rain may fall in the wettest areas through Friday and Saturday."

Police Scotland has urged people to bring warm clothing as well as extra food and water

A spokesman said: "Police Scotland is advising the Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning and that conditions for travel in the areas mentioned above may be hazardous and extra caution should be exercised.

"If you are travelling you should ensure you and your vehicle are adequately prepared for the conditions making sure you have sufficient fuel and supplies such as warm clothing, food and water in the event you are delayed for several hours.

"Charge your mobile phone and plan your route as well as alternative routes."

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