Update 18.00 Sat 7th Oct - Widespread flooding event over 7th and 8th October 2023

  07 October 2023

Vincent Fitzsimons, Flood Duty Manager for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), said:

“Scotland is experiencing a major rainfall event that is bringing prolonged, heavy rain throughout the day and well into Sunday. I want to be very clear that this is not a normal Autumn weekend for Scotland. We’re expecting extensive river and surface water flooding in affected areas. There is a danger to life. There are widespread impacts to road and rail. There is a risk of more significant community scale property flooding.

“Heavy rain has been falling since Friday night in many areas and will continue in northern Scotland throughout Saturday evening and well into Sunday. Some areas will have seen more than a month’s rain by the end of the weekend. Of particular concern are communities in the Met Office amber weather warning area that extends across much of northern Scotland. Examples include Aviemore and communities down the Spey Valley, but many more communities are also at risk. SEPA has been working closely with partners to help them target support for these areas.

”People should check our live Flood Updates for all the latest information. We advise people living, working and travelling in the affected areas to consider any steps they need to take now to be prepared for flooding impacts and consider whether their journey is necessary.

"We will continue to keep a very close eye on the situation, monitoring 24/7 as well as working closely with the Met Office and other partner agencies.

“We would strongly advise people to sign up to Floodline to receive free updates and heed emergency service and local authority advice. As well as checking our live Flood Updates for all the latest information, people can view the three-day Scottish Flood Forecast to see what conditions are expected further ahead.”

Staying informed

Be prepared and stay safe

  • Check Floodline – visit floodline.sepa.org.uk
  • Don’t walk through flood water – 15cm of fast flowing water could be enough to knock you off your feet and hazards can be hidden under the water.
  • Drive with care, and do not travel through deep fast flowing water. It only takes 30cm of fast flowing water to move an average family sized car.
  • If you’re walking beside rivers be extra careful of wet footpaths and small watercourses.
  • Consider deploying flooding protection products if required.

What’s the difference between a Flood Alert and a Flood Warning?

We use forecast weather information provided by the Met Office combined with our own observation of rainfall and river levels and advanced hydrological modelling to provide advance warning of flooding.

  • Regional Flood Alerts are early advice that flooding is possible across a wider geographical area. The purpose of the Alerts is to make people aware of the risk of flooding and be prepared. We normally issue them 12 to 24 hours in advance of the possibility of flooding.
  • Flood Warnings are more locally specific and are issued for areas where we have gauges on rivers to measure the exact river height. They are issued at shorter notice when we are more certain that a specific area will be affected.