Downpours have hit Howick badly in the Scottish Borders (Pictures: Getty)
A cross-border rail line is shut until further notice after two bridges were ‘washed away’ amid torrential rain.
Network Rail Scotland said the bridges spanned the River Annan, with trains unable to pass over a viaduct, closing the Dumfries to Carlisle route.
It happened after a major incident was declared in Hawick in the Scottish Borders with up to 500 homes and businesses feared to be at risk of flooding.
Schools and a health centre in the town were closed earlier. Nearby Peebles was also hit by flooding as the River Tweed burst its banks.
Shop owners fitted flood defences to the front of their stores. Trees and buildings, including a B&B, became partially submerged.
The major incident was stood down late last night after the Scottish Environment Protection Agency indicated the River Teviot reached a peak of 2.9m at 7.30pm and was now expected to steadily recede.
The evacuation was halted with residents advised they are safe to return and a rest centre closed.
A woman is seen fitting flood defences to her Hawick business (Picture: Getty)
A major incident was declared earlier after sustained heavy rain caused the Teviot to swell and threaten to flood (Picture: Getty)
Engineers plan to carry out a safety inspection of the rail line today. Other trains linking Edinburgh and Glasgow with smaller towns were disrupted by the weather.
Transport routes in Dumfries was further disrupted as a minor landslide has blocked the B725 road between Caerlaverock Castle and Bankend, while the town centre A781 White Sands remains closed in both directions this morning.
Further heavy rain is expected across southern Scotland and northern England, with an amber alert for Cumbria which warns of ‘danger to life from fast flowing or deep floodwater’.
Trees and a guesthouse became submerged in the fast flowing deep waters (Picture: Getty)
A couple watch the swollen River Teviot on Thursday (Picture: Getty)
Five flood alerts and 20 flood warnings have been issued mainly covering southern Scotland, while in England 16 flood alerts and nine flood warnings are in place in the North West.
A yellow warning of rain for south-west England applies until 9am today while another in Wales lasts until 3pm.
The Met Office said yesterday evening that 370mm of rain had been recorded at Honister Pass in Cumbria in just 40 hours to 6pm on Thursday.
Hawick residents placed sandbags outside to protect their homes (Picture: Getty)
It reported 132mm of rain at Eskdalemuir in Dumfries and Galloway in the same period.
Scotland’s transport minister Graeme Dey said: ‘The conditions could potentially bring disruption to the trunk road and rail networks, so it’s important people plan their journeys before they set off.
‘Motorists should make sure their routes are available, follow travel advice from Police Scotland and drive to the conditions.’
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