Floods hit Brechin

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Residents in the River Street area of Brechin have been placed on alert as the swollen waters of the River South Esk continue to rise, threatening a repeat of the flooding on October 12.

Emergency services and council staff had visited properties in the area to warn of the risk of flooding and by 11.30 a.m. this morning the waters had breached into River Street. Sandbags that were already in place were being re-deployed at pressure points in an effort to protect properties. Water levels are expected to peak at about midday.

Angus Council has established a rest centre for affected residents at Brechin High School, while some residents were making their own arrangements. Those staying put were given advice about how best to protect themselves and their property.

A close watch is also being kept on the Brothock Burn in Arbroath as it rises steadily this morning and sandbags were being deployed to St Vigeans as waters rose on the outskirts of Arbroath.

The roads network across Angus and parts of Perthshire has been significantly affected by the three days and more of continuous rain.

As a result of ongoing weather-related issues, the Tayside Strategic Co-ordinating Group has convened at Tayside Police Headquarters in Dundee to oversee the response to incidents and ensure public assistance. Excellent assistance is also being provided by the 4x4 volunteers.

Tayside Police Chief Inspector Shaun McKillop, confirmed that the weather was proving to be challenging most of all for residents in the area. He said: “This kind of disruption is the last thing that people need at this time of year and I am sure that this miserable spell of weather is causing a great deal of concern and frustration as people try to prepare for Christmas.

“Encouragingly, the weather does seem ready to offer us some respite, but the roads are still badly affected by flooding, particularly in Angus and parts of Perthshire, and I appeal to anyone who is driving in these conditions to do so with the utmost caution.

“There are roads that are closed at this time and others that are only passable with care. Unfortunately, this includes main routes and rural roads. Please reduce your speed and expect that there may be disruption on your journey.

“Tayside Police and its partners are working hard to assist with any issues and I would appeal to anyone who is in difficulty or who has any concerns to get in touch. At the same time please pay attention to the weather, traffic and travel information that is widely available from local and national TV, radio and newspapers to social media. Look out for any updates and stay safe.”

Although strong winds are anticipated later today, the weather is forecast to generally improve into the afternoon, although with a rise in temperature snow melt is being monitored closely.

While it is a fast changing situation, the roads closed in the Tayside area as at 11.30am are –

Angus:

The A90 at Stracathro was due to re-open at about 11.45am. However, the A90 northbound is closed at Brechin by-pass and at Kirriemuir junction.

B9134 at Aberlemno

Ferryden, Montrose

A92 northbound at Ardestie (due to open at about midday)

A935 Montrose – Brechin at Drumachlie Loan

Tayside Police remains concerned that some drivers continue to drive at speeds that are not safe in the difficult conditions. Drivers must keep their speed down and drive according to the conditions. Too much speed reduces the driver’s chances of braking and safely controlling the vehicle and thus avoiding a collision.

Driving too fast through standing water is dangerous and inconsiderate. It can also cause expensive damage to a vehicle – not just in the event of a collision – but the damage that the water can do can also result in a hefty repair bill.

Drivers should slow down when approaching standing water to avoid risks of aqua planing. If you do experience aquaplaning, hold the steering wheel lightly and lift off the throttle until the tyres regain grip. Always be considerate of nearby pedestrians.

Tayside Police offers drivers the following information and advice in mind -

Increase the gap between your vehicle and the one in front.

On slippery roads it can take up to 10 times longer to stop.

Reduce your speed and allow more time to slow down. Stop by decelerating earlier, rather than rely on braking alone.

Use dipped headlights so you can see and be seen.

If visibility is extremely poor (less than 100 metres visibility) then use fog lights, but switch them off whenever conditions improve or they will cause undue dazzle, which is an offence.

Take care on flooded roads. The deepest water is usually nearest the kerb, select first gear and move forward immediately to avoid stalling the engine, while maintaining high engine revs. Test your brakes after passing through the water.

On flood affected roads, if you vehicle loses grip, or aquaplanes, take your foot off the accelerator to slow down.

Avoid standing water if at all possible.

If you break down in heavy rain. Do not prop the bonnet open while you wait for assistance to arrive. The engine will be more difficult to start again if the electrics are rain-soaked.

People are advised to make use of traffic information websites such as www.trafficscotland.org

There are also regular updates on AA Roadwatch

Further Information on the kind of disruption that might be experienced is available at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/guide/weather/severe-weather-advice.

The full Alerts, with maps of the area affected, can be viewed on hazard manager or on website http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings/.

People should also be aware of local television and radio bulletins for updates on the latest weather and travel information. Details on any council and trunk road closures can be found at http://trafficscotland.org.

Local authority websites carry further useful information in relation to various services and people should also log on to the Safer Scotland Ready For Winter? website on www.readyscotland.org for more valuable information.

Floodline is Scotland’s 24-hour flooding information service, operated by SEPA

Online and by phone, it provides up to date information on river and coastal flood risk across the country including what Flood Warnings or Alerts are in force.

You can receive these directly to your phone, free of charge, by registering here: http://floodline.sepa.org.uk/floodingsignup

It is also a source of advice and information on flood risk, minimising the effect that flooding can have on your home or business, and what to do before, during and after a flood. Tel: 0845 988 1188 Website: http://www.sepa.org.uk/flooding