ON the same day that alerts were issued for communities throughout Scotland as the snow that fell last week continued to melt and wind speeds got up, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency launched the Scottish Borders’ first targeted coastal flood warning service for properties in 28 different areas.
The launch on Monday came as forecasters told residents in coastal areas across the country from Orkney to the Borders to “be prepared” as flooding was a real possibility.
Communities along the estuaries on the east coast in Angus, Tayside, Fife, Falkirk, Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Borders are covered by the service.
Thankfully, Berwickshire has so far avoided the worst of it this time round, but has had its fair share of flooding problems in the past, prompting the town to have its own flood barrier.
Eyemouth is one of the flood warning areas set up along the coast as part of the warning initiative, which was launched by meteorologist and TV weatherman Sean Batty.
The new schemes are a major development of SEPA’s successful Floodline service, which has seen over 14,000 people sign up since its launch less than two years ago.
Now anyone in the 28 coastal areas – including those who live in, work or travel through them – can sign up and receive advance coastal flood warnings direct to their phone 24 hours a day.
This will give people valuable time to take action to protect their families, homes and businesses from the damage flooding can cause.
It also allows people travelling through affected areas to make alternative travel arrangements if their usual travel routes have been disrupted.
Jim Fraser, emergency planning officer at Scottish Borders Council, added: “This new flood warning service will be of great benefit to people living in the Berwickshire coastal communities.
“We saw last year the devastating impact coastal flooding can have, and anything we can do to help people minimise the impact on their homes and families is most welcome.”
Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse added: “This new scheme is a crucial step to make sure local communities are informed and ready well in advance of any potential flooding.”
People can now sign up to receive flood warning messages at www.sepa.org.uk/floodingsignup or by calling 0845 988 1188.