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Drivers trapped for hours in Edinburgh avoid flooding

Image source, Gemma Barrow

Screenshot, Drivers trapped for hours after rush hour flooding

Hundreds of drivers were trapped for hours on Edinburgh’s city bypass on Thursday night after heavy rain and flooding.

The A720 at Dreghorn was closed in both directions at approximately 5.30pm after more than a month’s worth of rain fell in 36 hours.

Edinburgh City Council also closed Princes Street Gardens due to the downpour.

Environment agency Sepa issued six flood warnings and 11 flood alerts, and a yellow weather warning from the Met Office was in force until 3am.

Eastbound restrictions remained in place on the A720 at Sheriffhall until around 06:45, but Traffic Scotland confirmed the flooding had now been resolved.

This follows what Police Scotland described as “widespread traffic disruption” on the bypass between Lothianburn and Dreghorn on Thursday.

The force posted on social media: “Delays are causing disruption on the return to the M8. Drivers are advised to avoid the area at this time.”

Image source, Bear Scotland

Screenshot, More than a month of rain fell in 36 hours

Driver Gemma Barrow told BBC Scotland News she had been stuck on the bypass near Sighthill since 5.15pm.

She said: “I probably haven’t moved more than a mile in four and a half hours. It’s just queue after queue.”

“There are cars that overheat, a car behind me just pulled into a parking area with the hazard lights on, lifted the hood and smoke is coming out of the engine because we’ve been here for a long time.

“I’m frustrated, I’m tired. I’m usually already in bed and I’m still on my way from work.”

Image source, Scotland Traffic

Screenshot, There were traffic jams for kilometers on the Edinburgh city ring

Road maintenance company Bear Scotland said it was working with Police Scotland to get traffic moving safely “as soon as possible”.

Many drivers took to social media to describe the “horrendous” conditions and express frustration over the long delays.

Traffic Scotland said police were releasing stuck traffic at around 10pm and were “attempt[ing]to let motorists through for a short time to relieve congestion”.

Transport Scotland said Bear Scotland had been pumping water since the afternoon and police officers were carrying out “welfare checks” and diverting traffic onto nearby slip roads.

A spokesperson added: “With rain continuing into the evening and to keep people safe, Police Scotland made the decision to close the road.

“We are asking drivers to follow Traffic Scotland and Police Scotland for the latest updates, as road operators work to reopen the road as soon as possible.”

Image source, Edinburgh Town Hall

Screenshot, Edinburgh City Council closed Princes Street Gardens

The council released images of flooding in Princes Street Gardens and advised that the gardens and Inch Park in the south of the city would remain closed until further notice.

The Water of Leith Conservation Trust said river levels were very high and the rain caused a “surge” towards Murrayfield.

The highest rainfall recorded in 36 hours was 111mm at the Sepa “Bush” site, near Penicuik.

At Nunraw Abbey, near the closed section of the Edinburgh City Ring Road, 95mm of rain was recorded between 12pm on Wednesday and 7pm on Thursday.

Edinburgh Botanic Gardens recorded 48mm, which is their typical average figure for the whole month of May.

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