Promenade to be shut during flood warnings

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The red flag flies, signalling that the harbour is closed, as heavy seas batter the bantry at Eyemouth.'File Name : _DSC0020.JPG''File Size : 1.3MB (1342940 Bytes)''Date Taken : 2010/03/31 15:28:01''Image Size : 2464 x 1632 pixels''Resolution : 300 x 300 dpi''Bit Depth : 8 bits/channel''Protection Attribute : Off''Hide Attribute : Off''Camera ID : N/A''Camera : NIKON D2Hs''Quality Mode : N/A''Metering Mode : Matrix''Exposure Mode : Aperture Priority''Speed Light : No''Focal Length : 80 mm''Shutter Speed : 1/250 second''Aperture : F8.0''Exposure Compensation : 0 EV''White Balance : N/A''Lens : N/A''Flash Sync Mode : N/A''Exposure Difference : N/A''Flexible Program : N/A''Sensitivity : N/A''Sharpening : N/A''Image Type : Color''Color Mode : N/A''Hue Adjustment : N/A''Saturation Control : N/A''Tone Compensation : N/A''Latitude(GPS) : N/A''Longitude(GPS) : N/A''Altitude(GPS) : N/A

Eyemouth promenade will be closed to the public when coastal flood warnings are in place, Scottish Borders Council has agreed.

At a meeting of the environment and infrastructure committee members backed the recommendations of the council’s flood and coastal management team leader, David Green.

The move follows a study which revealed that during an ‘overtopping event’ the danger posed to pedestrians from waves crashing over the wall was unacceptable.

In response, the council will now purchase, at a cost of around £11,000, temporary barriers to close off the promenade in bad weather.

Mr Green said the barriers may need to be erected ‘five or six times a year, on average’, and would be put up by council staff as soon as possible after a coastal flood warning is received, day or night.

Part of the reason the study was undertaken was so that Eyemouth could be included in the Scottish Environment Protection Agency coastal flood warning programme.

Following the completion of the study, in May, the council set about looking at safety measure to protect the public in the event of flood warnings.

This has included engaging with local emergency responders, councillors and the community.

Berwickshire councillor Michael Cook said the results of the study left the council with little choice but to take some form of action.

“More often than not you would expect people to exercise reasonable judgement if there is significant wave activity, but the council does have a responsibility to provide people with the best advice and guidance,” he said.

Mr Cook added: “Sometimes you can look at things like this and wonder if it is heavy-handed, but in this case it is proportionate to the professional advice given.”

In his report, Mr Green said: “There is a risk that, if the seawall promenade remains open during seawall wave overtopping events, pedestrians may be injured.

“This is being mitigated by putting in place arrangements to close off access to the seawall promenade during such events.”

He added: “Council staff, police and the resilient community group will monitor the seawall promenade as far as is reasonably practicable to try to ensure it is maintained pedestrian free.”

A spokesman said the council had ‘taken into account’ the incident in June last year when two girls were rescued from the water after one was washed in by a big wave from steps on the promenade.

The second girl, Katie-Lou MacLean, dived in to the water to rescue her friend but suffered serious and life-changing injuries as a result.