BR facing flood losses in Scotland

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MAIN railways to the Scottish Highlands hit by flooding could be closed for up to three months with repair bills and loss of revenue to British Rail running into millions of pounds, writes James Cusick.

Services from Glasgow and Edinburgh to Inverness are expected to be disrupted for months after bridges and embankments in Perthshire were almost destroyed.

Yesterday, hundreds of people from the Muirton housing estate in Perth were returning to their homes after being forced out by flooding when the Tay burst its banks. Over the weekend and on Monday the Tay's flow rose from the normal 164 to 2,060 cubic metres a second, the highest recorded since the 1950s.

The rescue centre in Perth, which on Monday had provided shelter for 600 Muirton residents, was looking after 22 people yesterday. The body of an elderly man was discovered on the estate as the flood receded but there were no suspicious circumstances.

Elsewhere, five roads in Perthshire were still closed, damaged by the combination of blizzard conditions and flooding.