Nov 30 2011 by Johnathon Menzies, Stirling Observer Wednesday
DRYMEN’S bridge over the River Endrick was a high profile casualty of yesterday’s weather conditions, as flood waters washed away the southside carriageway approaches.
Observer photographer Jim Mailer, who was at the scene, reported: “It was a scene of absolute chaos out there.”
Elsewhere, firefighters were on red alert as flooding wreaked havoc for locals throughout Stirlingshire.
Constant overnight rain made driving conditions treacherous yesterday with all Stirling district affected from Plean to Strathblane and Bridge of Allan to Callander.
A spokesperson for the Central Scotland Fire and Rescue Service said crews were called to Callander and Gartmore, between 8.45 and 9am, as motorists became stranded in their respective vehicles due to rising water levels.
One driver became so concerned for his welfare he clambered on to the roof of his van and waited for assistance to arrive, according to the brigade’s representative.
Emergency service personnel were also called to a string of incidents overnight on Monday – mainly in Bannockburn, Plean, Cambusbarron, Callander, Blanefield, Strathblane and Gartmore.
Operations group manager Joe Andrews said: “We would particularly advise people to take care when driving on the roads and only make journeys that are necessary.”
Surface water was also said to be causing problems for 20 dancers in the throes of sitting their Royal Academy of Dance exams at Causewayhead’s Monument Dance Centre.
Principal Louise Murray said: “Talented dancers come from all over the country to take classical ballet exams and they might end up damaging their vehicles as they attempt to pass the floods.
“A few weeks ago, one customers car was damaged so much by driving through the flood it was declared a write-off. Last year, we hosted the exams and the road was impassible due to snow – this year it’s because of a flood.”
Bridge of Allan resident Richard Sweeney, a retired soldier who lives at Forglen Crescent, predicted the problems could get worse if the number of houses increases in the spa town.
He said: “Everyone I’ve spoken to about this, from all walks of life, seems pretty adamant that things are only going to get worse if development continues.
“If we had a week of this weather the water level would be really high as it doesn’t seem to be draining away. I’d imagine it’d be worse still if the temperature drops and things freeze.”
McLaren High School in Callander, plus Aberfoyle, Buchanan, Drymen and Port of Menteith Primary Schools were all closed due to the adverse weather conditions, as was Croftamie Nursery.
A spokesperson for Stirling Council explained Cornton Nursery was partially closed, although she stated the facility remained open for use by “working families and vulnerable children.”
The disruption was a further headache for families and those frequenting community facilities, who were already bracing themselves for today’s (Wednesday’s) public sector pensions strike.
A representative for Central Scotland Police said that scores of roads throughout the region were closed to traffic as a result of the deluge.
The M9 was restricted to a single lane both northbound and southbound, between junction nine at Pirnhall and junction 10 at Craigforth, but was reopened by mid-morning.
The A811 was particularly badly hit at Drymen Bridge as the River Endrick burst its banks.
The Kersebonny Road from the A811 to Cambusbarron, was also closed, as were the A907 between Causewayhead and Manor Powis, Cornton level crossing, the Mollands Road in Callander and the B9140 in Clackmannanshire.
Traffic travelling near Dumgoyne was diverted via the A809.
The police spokesperson urged anyone using the region’s roads network to heed closures and be wary of surface water.
She warned: “Motorists ignoring these closures put themselves and others at risk and may be committing an offence.
“We’re asking all road users to respect signs and diversions.”