Menu
 
Home | News | Village at odds with official flood report
 
News | 26th March 2020
 

Village at odds with official flood report

 
 
 

Diaries show residents were left to cope on their own in storm

CRITICISM has been levelled against Scottish Borders
Council for its account of the emergency help given to
Newcastleton when the village was flooded last month.
The report to the Teviot & Liddesdale area partnership after the flood on Saturday, February 15 is at odds with the villagers’ experience.
The discrepancy was highlighted at this month’s community council meeting when a full report on the flooding of dozens of homes was given.
Residents, the community
resilience team members and the village fire and rescue service wrote diaries of the weekend’s events and the community council has forwarded them to
Scottish Borders Council.
A summary of these diaries showed help was sought by the resilience team at 3.30pm and a call was made to the council’s emergency bunker for sandbags.
About an hour later the road from Hawick was impassable and houses in Holmfoot, the southern end of the village,
started to see water.
The Scottish Environment
Protection Agency (SEPA)
issued its first serious flood warning at 4.25pm.
Coinciding with this, the bunker was updated with another request for help from the fire service.
The resilience team were
advised that, because it wasn’t a threat to life, the fire crew wouldn’t be despatched.
No one came to help: no
police, no fire service.
Volunteers started doing what they could to move folk in peril. The resilience team, carers and doctors opened the health centre to cope with residents in need.
At about 6.30pm the Dumfries and Langholm fire service
arrived but shortly afterwards were sent to Kershopefoot, along with the volunteer crew, to rescue a family trapped in a car. The village was left to cope on its own until they returned.
SEPA issued a severe flood warning at 7pm.
Stranded
Many homes at the southern end of the village did not get this because the communications had gone down (they were still out at the time of the meeting but are back on now), by which time some of the village was waist deep in water and residents were stranded in their properties.
Flood waters were extremely dangerous, moving at extreme speeds and lifting pavements, roads and manholes.
Volunteers attempted to reach areas but water levels made
efforts impossible.
At about 9pm two ambulances arrived in response to callouts. If they got through via the B6357, why didn’t police and more fire crews? Shortly after this, water started to retreat.
Exploded
It was clear to the community that the drains played a sig-
nificant part in the flooding; waters were just unable to escape quickly enough and water
exploded through manholes to get out.
It surged into unexpected places and entered many homes from the rear.
Residents had prepared
defences at the front of their properties so more damage was caused as a result.
Drains were full on the southern frontage of the riverside
before the weekend and not
operating.
Why were they not dealt with before the weekend?

A FULL report with the timeline was sent to the council. The community council is now seeking an apology over the published account of how the council responded to the village’s needs, as published in the area partnership meeting’s minutes.
The minutes noted that Jim Fraser, emergency planning
officer, said SEPA had acted correctly in its predictions
and timings of warnings. However, the water levels spiked extremely quickly.
On Saturday’s warning times he advised that the first warning for the Liddel Water was 4.25pm, with another at 7pm.
Regarding the support given by the emergency services, he said Police Scotland had
declared a major incident in
Newcastleton and deployed, in addition to a number of local officers, five police vans from their operational reserve,
including officers from
Glasgow.
In addition, 30 coastguard
personnel were mobilised, along with fire and rescue service
personnel and specialist water
rescue.
Over the lack of communication response from the
emergency bunker during the weekend, Mr Fraser said staff were there but had dealt with an extremely high number of calls from the emergency services for support and from residents in Hawick, Newcastleton,
Peebles, Kelso and Jedburgh.
Accurate
The minutes said the council had reacted quickly and by 8am on Sunday, had deployed staff, road sweepers and mechanical diggers to tidy up the roads and footpaths, which was accurate.
At the community council meeting it was agreed with the resilience team to prepare a list of needs to ensure that, should this happen again and no help was forthcoming, they would be better equipped and trained to cope themselves.
The councillors thanked those who risked their lives to help and save others in extreme circumstances and reminded all volunteers that they must register with the resilience team to be insured.

 
 
Would you like to support us?

The Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser is our community owned local newspaper and even in today’s troubled times, we aim to bring you local news and articles in an impartial, responsible and factual way.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this free article but we need your support so we can keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent and keeps you up to date with what is happening in Eskdale and Liddesdale.

Every reader’s contribution, however big or small, is so valuable to us.
 
 
‘Owned by the Community...Published for the Community’
Do you have a story?

Please get in touch if you have a story or article you would like to see published.

Related Articles

Flood Scheme Forum

RESIDENTS living in riverside properties in Langholm have voiced their…

 

Langholm Loves Local launched

LANGHOLM is bouncing back with a new initiative to make…

 

New coronavirus rules will not help industry

Hotel owner criticises Scottish government for unclear message

 

Pandemic infects iconic retail brand

More unemployment as Day puts EWM Group in administration

 

Villagers welcome a 20mph limit trial

Newcastleton’s streets will be safer for pedestrians and drivers

 

EWM TO CLOSE 200 STORES IN NEXT FORTNIGHT

24,000 Jobs are at risk

 

Village sewage works due to open next spring

Canonbie and the River Esk will benefit from better treatment

 

Housing developer is ready to move onto site

Plan put in for initial works, including improved A7 junction

 

Rescued mill has new name and big plans

Drove Weavers in Langholm earns praise and admiration from MSP

 

Digital skills project is launched in Langholm

Older people, young people and low-income families targeted

 

Flood protection order delayed by fresh study

Environmental impact assessment will take six months to do

 

Team appointed to regenerate Copshaw

Development officer to lead transformation of Buccleuch House

 

Four more defibrillators go live

FOUR more defibrillators have been installed as part of a…

 

Centre design rethink after public response

And council calls for extra study after identifying flood risk

 

Village completes historic land buy-out

Newcastleton trust buys 750 acres of Holm Hill from Buccleuch

 

Scottish actor appeals for donations to moor

Gregor has good memories of raising his family in Langholm

 

Dyehouse cuts ten jobs as orders dry up

COVID-19 pandemic hits successful company’s customers

 

Plan launched to make south a greater place

Enterprise body to make area centre for opportunity, innovation and…

 

Volunteers needed to drive community car

New Caddy will be used to transport residents to appointments

 

Another million given to moorland buyout

South of Scotland Enterprise give huge boost to venture

 

Centre bids for funding to survive the long term

Langholm’s popular performing arts venue is vital to economy

 

Academy’s head pupils

LANGHOLM and Canonbie Schools Cluster is delighted to announce the…

 

Church reopens for worship

By the Rev Dr. Robert Pickles

 

YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

Artists impression of how proposed flood defences may look

 

£500k boost for moor

Family foundation breathes new life into bid for nature reserve

 

Langholm’s last mill has a brighter future

Well-known designer will create jobs and establish new brand

 

Nicol’s enterprising role to regenerate town

Former Langholm man will deliver Langholm’s action plan

 

Dance scholar rewarded

A PERFORMING arts student from Langholm has won a coveted…

 

Centre announces an August reopening

Coffees and lunches are back on the menu – at…

 

Canonbie surgery

A CONFIDENTIAL online consultation service giving patients another way to…

 

Town is a high priority

Langholm does not rank the lowest in an index based…

 

MARVELLOUS!

IT WAS dark when three horsemen were greeted by a…

 

Neighbourly celebrations

MOODLAW Point and Henry Street South neighbours gathered on Jennety’s…

 

Neighbourly celebrations

THE neighbours in Academy Place and Douglas Terrace could not…

 

Partnership secures £2.1m for the south

Scottish government awards funding to 28 innovative projects

 

Jobless warning

JUNE’S unemployment figures are just the ‘tip of the iceberg’…

 

Weaving company’s future in the balance

Management buy-out team seeks to progress talks with owner

 

Defibs are going live

Life-saving equipment will come with full instructions on use

 

Helping to ease the burden

By the Rev Scott McCarthy, minister of Garthamlock and Craigend…

 

Mill’s billionaire owner crippling suppliers, claim

But EWM says it has reached agreements with nearly all…

 
Surgery Tour 2020
 
requires mailchimp logins and wired up to a list
Join our mailing list
Keep up to date with all that’s going on at the E&L
This site uses cookies.
Configure
 
Read our privacy policy

This site uses cookies for marketing, personalisation, and analysis purposes. You can opt out of this at any time or view our full privacy policy for more information.