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By Colin Smeeton
Arran took a battering from Storm Dennis last weekend with its predicted high winds unseasonably high tides causing widespread flooding and damage across the island.
The storm which closely followed Storm Ciara just the week before caused severe flooding across the country and set a new record for flood warnings in England.
The high winds and high tides, along with the thawing snow from just days earlier, created a perfect storm which was then combined with heavy rainfall, which in some areas amounted to the equivalent of a month’s worth of rain in just one day.
On Arran, the usual low lying areas suffered from wave over topping and due to the already saturated ground not being able to absorb any further water, flooding occurred at far higher levels than that normally seen during winter storms.
On Saturday, Rosa Burn in Brodick was in full spate and in a sight not witnessed in over a decade the water flowed over the bridge at Brodick golf courses’ fourth tee. In a somewhat more familiar sight Brodick golf course itself was inundated – looking more like a lake than a golf course – but surprisingly it once again recovered quickly and golfers were playing on it the next day.
At the long stay car park behind the small Co-op the high tide from the beach extended across the parking lot and the waves were soon lapping at the door of the public toilets located on the opposite site of the green.
A number of vehicles which were parked in the lot received flood damage as the water level steadily rose to above the door sills. The Boathouse was also completely surrounded by water and the putting green was inundated with small waves moving across the green.
Driving along the A841 towards Corrie was especially dangerous with waves breaking over the sea wall and onto the road, bringing with it stones, seaweed and other marine debris. Further along at Sannox, near the stepping stones, the road became completely impassable owing to the depth of the water.
A similar scene unfolded in Lochranza, near the Youth Hostel, where the road was completely submerged and run-off from the nearby hills added to the deluge.
By Sunday the heavy rain subsided in intensity and gusting winds took over. The high water levels thankfully also subsided and Arran’s coastal areas returned to normal with sea debris and isolated water puddles becoming the only reminders of the battering that Storm Dennis inflicted on Arran.
Arran enjoyed a short respite from the severe weather during the week, with only minimal ferry disruption despite being on yellow alert, but this will be short lived as another low pressure system is forecast to move in this weekend.
Further heavy downpours and high winds are expected over the weekend and into next week, with some snow predicted over higher elevations. Owing to the high winds ferry disruption is likely but the weather system is unlikely to be as disruptive, or as damaging as Storm Ciara or Dennis.
Two vehicles parked behind the Brodick Co-op become more submerged as the tide rises. 01_B08Dennis01
The Boathouse is completely surrounded by water and the delineation between beach and land has disappeared. 01_B08Dennis02
The putting green and Co-op car park are submerged by the rising tide. 01_B08Dennis03
The sea splashes over the promenade at high tide in Brodick. 01_B08Dennis04
The Caledonian Isles can be seen in the distance as the sea extends all the way across the golf course. 01_B08Dennis05
Parts of Sannox are submerged with the road completely impassable. Photograph: @ArranWeather. 01_B08Dennis08