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Praise for rapid flood response

Posted: 27th June 2019
Edinburgh’s Transport and Environment Convener has praised Council teams’ swift response to flooding following Monday’s flash storms.


Councillor Lesley Macinnes commended work by roads and flood prevention officers to minimise the impact of heavy rain on the Capital’s network, particularly in the west of the city.

Flood prevention squads worked during Monday afternoon, throughout Monday night and on Tuesday to attend to more than 140 flooding reports, while roads services completed the most urgent repairs to roads damaged by overflowing sewers within 24 hours of the storm.

Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Macinnes, said: “Our teams worked extremely hard throughout Monday night and have continued to since then to help the city cope with the impact of this exceptional period of extreme weather.

“I’m pleased that our multi-million pound Water of Leith flood prevention scheme, for which the second phase was completed in Murrayfield last year, has proved effective helping to protect properties neighbouring the Water of Leith in the area too.

“Things are now returning to normality but, while the majority of Council services were able to continue as usual throughout Monday and Tuesday, I do recognise the impact situations such as these have on commuters affected by road closures, related traffic pressures and public transport disruption. My thoughts are also with any residents and business-owners who suffered damage to their properties and are now dealing with the aftermath.

“Though this was something of a freak storm, it’s reasonable for the public to expect an efficient response to the problems caused by it. We will, of course, build on lessons from this week’s flooding and continue to work with partners to improve and adapt our reaction to such events as a city, benefiting residents, commuters and visitors.”

Edinburgh was hit by more than half of June’s expected rainfall within three hours on Monday, during which time more than 32mm of rain fell per hour resulting in several instances of severe localised road flooding.

Flooding was as a result of both surcharging sewers, which are maintained by Scottish Water, either due to a blockage or capacity issue, or overflowing gullies, which are maintained by the Council. While the Council’s gully-clearing programme is up to date, the road drainage network is not designed to cope with unanticipated rainfall of such intensity.

In addition to pumping water and repairing road surfaces, teams were responsible for monitoring heavily flooded roads and closing these where necessary, as well as clearing any debris away from the worst affected areas. Roads services have already completed significant road repairs at several locations including Drum Brae, Bankhead Crossway North and Cultins Road.

Staff have been working with Scottish Water to ensure manholes affected by overflowing sewers are safely covered and to patch up any surrounding road surface damaged by manhole covers being lifted by overflowing sewers.

Visit the Council’s website for further information on dealing with floods and other severe weather.

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