Loch Leven bursts banks as Kinross Pier left under water

Scotland’s largest lowland freshwater loch has burst its banks as threatened residents nearby brace themselves for a further 24-hr deluge of winter storms to come.

The giant Loch Leven completely swamped the historic Kinross Pier which is no longer visible to passers-by under several feet of water.

It came close to inundating the nearby Boat House restaurant as well while sandbags are providing a last line of defence the adjacent Historic Scotland offices next door.

Thousands of tourists a year take boat trips to Lochleven Castle, the site where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned before escaping in 1565, from the pier.

But it has vanished from view with only life preservers and anchored boats still in place.

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Under water – Kinross Pier

Various points around the Loch Leven Heritage Trail which circles the water for 13-miles have also been hit, while nearby burns at South Queich also overflowed.

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The loch and pier as it usually appears

Families in Queich Place in Kinross were among those worst affected with crews from Fire Scotland pumping water out of their homes.

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Water levels there had dipped enough for workmen to begin ripping out carpets and ruined furniture, but one resident said: “We’re just waiting to see what happens next. It was really bad.

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“I’ve never seen the water this high before”.

Station Road, Ochil View, Mill Street and the local Sainsburys car-park were among other parts to suffer worrying levels of water rising in the town as were roads on local routes nearby including at Milnathort.

Lochleven Castle on an island in Loch Leven counts Justin Beiber among its celebrity fans after the star visited during a stay at nearby Kinross House during his October 2016 tour.

It most recently hit the headlines again after Saoirse Ronan played Mary Queen of Scots in the film of the same name as the monarch who was imprisoned there.

Local tap room the Loch Leven Brewery also counts actor Chris Pine among its fans after movie bosses allowed them naming rights for their Outlaw King film craft beer.

Loch Leven itself stretches for around 3.2 miles.

Original water levels were reduced by an 1827 Act of Parliament which sought to better utilise the water for local mills, businesses and land use.

VIDEO & IMAGES: Copyright Shaun Milne / Planet Scotland

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