Team shows its resilience after storms cause flooding

Sand bags were already out in front of Church Street premises thanks to the resilient communities team
Sand bags were already out in front of Church Street premises thanks to the resilient communities team

Eyemouth’s resilient communities group lived up to its name after last week’s thunderstorms resulted in localised flooding.

The team – made up of high school students, councillors, business owners and residents – had been due to stage its first exercise in August, but a real emergency last Wednesday put it to the test ahead of schedule.

There was a multi-agency response to flooding in Eyemouth after last week's storm

There was a multi-agency response to flooding in Eyemouth after last week's storm

Team members notified residents in flood-prone areas the day before the storm and helped with sandbagging and putting up floodgates.

When the storms hit, heavy rain resulted in flooding in Eyemouth’s Church Street, High Street and Harbour Road.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Borders Council, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and local volunteers worked together during the flooding, and Scottish Water started clean-up work in the town immediately after the storm passed.

Jim Fraser, the council’s emergency planning officer, said: “The response in Eyemouth to the potential for flooding, and after the heavy rainfall, has once again highlighted the value of having locally-trained and equipped volunteers in these situations.

Lightning damaged this Eyemouth home during last weeks thunder storm.

Lightning damaged this Eyemouth home during last weeks thunder storm.

“There is no doubt that their efforts, and those of local residents and business owners, helped to minimise the impact of this event.”

Scottish Water’s regional community team manager, Bill Elliot, said: “We are progressing with a permanent solution to the underlying issue in Church Street and are continuing to liaise closely with the council and, shortly, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to move towards implementing the required engineering solution.”

For further details of the team, call Jemma Landels on 01890 750839 or Mary-Lou Watt on 01890 750608.

One Eyemouth High School pupil, who helped with the response said: “It was thrilling to play a part in ERT during the floods. Even though I was unable to help outdoors, I played the part of managing the social media and communicating with the public by keeping them up to date! I’m excited to be a part of ERT and helping the community.”

Eyemouth Response Team meeting

Eyemouth Response Team meeting

Another said: “Being a member of the ERT I initially didn’t know what to expect.

“On receiving the weather warnings I didn’t think much of it until the ERT members were called upon. I went down to the assembly point with my mum the next minute it was raining heavy, thundering and lighting.

“I was too busy putting out sandbags around Church Street to think about the weather, it felt really good after being part of such an newly formed group, knowing that what we all did and how it had an effect on the whole of the community.”

Members of the response team putting down sandbags.

Members of the response team putting down sandbags.