Angus Council to review system following flooding

Angus Council’s infrastructure services committee were due to meet on Tuesday, as the Brechin Advertiser went to press, to discuss a report on the floods across Angus that occurred Friday, October 12.

In the report it was stated that the council responded to 76 incidents – including the flooding that occurred on River Street, after the river South Esk burst its banks.

The report stated that the roads division had since identified and in some instances implemented, specific actions at 36 of the 76 reported flooding sites. Work is currently continuing to help identify any action required at the remaining 40 sites.

Further to that, senior officers have been in contact with other agencies involved in the flood response process. Some further meetings of a multi-agency officer group are planned to continue the investigation into the events of October 12.

The council have also revealed that they will be reviewing their combined responses to extreme weather events, in particular the warnings issued by SEPA and the activation of planned interventions.

As this had a direct bearing on the circumstances in River Street on October 12, operational practices for that site have been amended pending the outcome of the review.

The deployment of the physical measures at River Street will now be activated upon issue of the relevant Flood Alert from SEPA and following monitoring of the river level locally at River Street, rather than rely solely on SEPA’s warning threshold.

This practice will continue until such time as full confidence in the specific warning system is restored.

As concerns have been raised regarding the delivery and deployment of protective material to some locations, most specifically River Street in Brechin, this will be considered as part of the investigations.

The council has limited resources to respond to county-wide flooding issues but it is important that lessons are learned from particular events.

The report concluded that flooding events which occurred across Angus on October 12, although generally responded to well by the council staff and other emergency responders, have highlighted some areas for further investigation.

Commenting on the October flooding the council’s roads spokesperson, Councillor Mairi Evans said: “The downpour on October 11 and 12 resulted in a lot of flooding in the area. In Angus the council and our partners responded to 76 incidents, dealing with known hotspots and reported localised flooding.

“In addition to numerous roads being affected, rivers were at high levels.

“Unfortunately some homes in Monifieth were flooded when the Dighty burst its banks, and the South Esk overtopped at Brechin, flooding the road and garden grounds in River Street.

“As we usually do after such widespread incidents the council and its partners have been reviewing our collective response in the past few weeks, to see where improvements can be made.”

Councillor Evans said the council has acted on the concerns raised about the deployment of protective measures at Brechin.

She commented: “In Brechin our response was late and I am desperately keen to reassure the residents of River Street that we are doing our utmost to ensure, as far as we can, our response in the future is swift and effective.

“We need to review the advance warning system for the South Esk with SEPA but in the interim we have adjusted our operational response for River Street.

“We are continuing to actively promote and support the flood defence scheme, but alongside this we are investigating new and innovative ways of dealing with flooding in terms of an immediate response.

These include measures that can be seen by following this link - http://youtu.be/7AscB5p3kI0.

“This is just one example of an entirely new design idea derived from our work with a local company to look at short term solutions for houses in flood risk areas.

“We are also looking at ways in which we can provide resources locally which are immediately accessible to the public when the threat of flooding arises.

“I intend to bring forward a further report to the next committee in January to look at the progress being made on these actions.”