STORM DESMOND: River Tweed floods at Coldstream

Flood water hit Coldstream on Sunday morning, following torrential rain further up the River Tweed the previous day.

Monday, 7th December 2015, 9:41 am
The Lees Field at Coldstream was under water after the dykes failed to keep the rising water at bay

The town’s Market Square, Duke Street and Leet Street were placed on flood alert on Saturday through to Sunday, the River Tweed and Leet peaking at around mid-day, after which the waters started to subside.

Flood gates were up at houses along Duke Street, Lees Mill Drive and Abbey Road but while the water came into the gardens it started to go down before any real damage was done. Householders backing onto the town’s Leet Green watched as the Leet, unable to flow out into the River Tweed because of the volume of water coming downstream, started to flow into their back gardens.

However, the low lying fields along the Tweed between Coldstream and Birgham absorbed most of the excess water. The Lees field at Coldstream, where the river flows around three side of it was completely submerged despite the increased height of its dykes to try and protect it, leaving the lower lying part of Coldstream safe for now, although the water reached the very top of the town’s Tweed Green.

By Monday morning the Tweed Green and Lees field were visible once again as the water retreated and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) removed the flood alert but were still warning of increased water levels.

“Some watercourses may rise again into Monday as a result of overnight rain, however levels will not reach the peaks seen over the past two days,” was the SEPA flood alert message on Monday morning

Jim Fraser, Scottish Borders Council’s emergency planning officer added: “Despite the weather improving, water levels remain high right across the Borders.

“I would urge the public not to take any unnecessary risks and they must stay clear of riverbanks, bridges with high running water and be aware of footpaths, roads, fences and walls which may have been damaged by the flooding.

The River Tweed in flood at Coldstream Bridge

“We are continuing to liaise with our partners in the emergency services, and are leading the recovery in our communities.”

Berwickshire generally escaped quite lightly but across the Borders some communities - particularly Hawick, were badly affected with homes flooded, residents evacuated and roads closed due to either flooding or trees down.

Both the police and SBC emergency team were urging residents to stay clear of riverbanks, bridges with high running water and be aware of footpaths, roads, fences, walls which may have been damaged by the flooding.

Inspector Carol Wood from Police Scotland said: “There are a number of road closure signs in place across the Borders and it is an offence to ignore these.

The Irish Bridge, and Leet picnic area and children's play park are overhwelmed by the overflowing Leet Water

“These signs are in place for a reason – and anyone who ignores these signs is simply putting themselves in unnecessary danger which may result in pulling valuable emergency services away from priority incidents. Please do not ignore road closed signs.”

The point where the Leet Water flows into the Tweed was overwhelmed on Sunday
Flooding in Coldstream. Picture: TSPL