Despite fears Katia storm blows over in Falkirk

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As the tail end of Hurricane Katia swept Scotland, Falkirk escaped the worst of the weather.

The country had been placed on amber alert as the remnants of the killer winds crossed the Atlantic from the USA and reached here on Monday – but the weather did not wreak the havoc locally that had been feared.

Strong winds and driving rain, however, did bring problems, particularly for people who had to travel.

Motorists faced difficult journeys as the worst of the storm raged on Monday evening and two cars were involved in a collision caused by a fallen tree near junction 4 on the M9 at Grangemouth, at 10.20 p.m.

Fallen trees also brought disruption to the M80 and the M876 and rush hour traffic was significantly slower in places, although the roads were not closed.

Debris from the wind also made driving hazardous, with gusts of wind up to 70 m.p.h. sweeping the district, bringing tree branches crashing down and pushing over several fences.

There was a small amount of localised flooding, according to police, but a Central Scotland Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said that although the service had been busy, they did not experience anything like the unprecedented number of calls they faced when the last big storm struck.

There was also disruption for passengers travelling from Falkirk Grahamston station due a tree falling on overhead wires.

This resulted in the 15.31 Edinburgh-Dunblane train being delayed by around 20 minutes, but again the district got off lightly in comparison to other parts of Scotland where services were cancelled and severely delayed.

Falkirk Council had no major damage to report to any of its buildings, although some cladding and insulation was reported to have come off Eastburn Tower in Callendar Park.

The Scottish Environment Protection Area (SEPA) issued a flood warning for the Central area on Monday, and people were urged to remain on the alert throughout Tuesday as river levels remained high following the heavy rain.

Yesterday (Wednesday) weather watch warnings remained in place in other parts of the country.

But while the storm had been dramatic – particularly in exposed, coastal areas – Falkirk citizens and the emergency services could breathe a sigh of relief that the worst was over.