A FLOOD alert has been issued for Moray and Speyside following heavy rain.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has also issued an alert for the Findhorn area.
Staff at Moray Council will be on standby tonight as river levels are forecast to peak.
The River Lossie is expected to peak at 2.6 metres high at 3am tomorrow morning; the height at which the river will flood parts of Elgin is 2.7 metres.
Senior managers from Moray Council met this afternoon to assess the risk to residents in Elgin. They were briefed by hydrologists and engineer staff from Royal Haskoning, the flood alleviation scheme consultants working for the council on the Elgin Flood Alleviation scheme.
The experts predicted that river levels will continue to rise during the course of the afternoon and evening, and will reach its maximum by 3am.
An accurate height prediction will be made at 9pm this evening. This will be provided by monitors located along the length of the River Lossie.
Should the risk of flooding have increased at that time, measures will be taken to help potentially affected residents evacuate their houses.
As a precaution, council staff are arranging rest centre and temporary accommodation in the area should this be required.
The council’s management team, police and flooding experts will meet again at 6pm to further assess the situation, and will continue monitoring all through the night until the risk has passed.
Sandbags will be deployed strategically to protect areas rather than be available to individual households.
More information will be posted on the council’s website and Facebook pages during the course of the evening, and further releases to the media will be issued as the situation unfolds.