Edinburgh flood teams on alert as heavy rain forecast

Basements of flats in the Haymarket have been flooded. Picture: Jane Barlow

Basements of flats in the Haymarket have been flooded. Picture: Jane Barlow

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THE Capital was today braced for a fresh wave of flooding after forecasters put the city on amber alert.

The city council’s flood prevention teams, which were mobilised on Friday, have been beefed up and will be in action for the rest of the weekend.

The Met Office warned of the likelihood of “heavy and persistent” rain, with 20-40mm expected to fall across the Edinburgh area today and with an amber warning meaning residents should “be prepared” for potentially adverse weather.

Margaret Paterson

Margaret Paterson

South-east Scotland was predicted to be the worst affected, with warnings that 60mm of rain – the same amount usually expected over the course of a month – could fall.

A city council spokeswoman said: “The teams have sandbags and a special piece of equipment called a gully motor, which can drive around and lift surface water. They’ll be keeping a particular eye on areas with Victorian drains, and other places that they know from experience can get flooded very quickly.”

Transport leader Lesley Hinds said: “Some drains have not been able to deal with the amount of rain we’ve had recently and how heavy it has become in such a short time.

“Most of the flooding does seem to have cleared quite quickly so far, but with events such as Taste of Edinburgh on this weekend the council have brought in extra people to deal with any potential situations.”

Taste of Edinburgh organisers today said they were determined the show must go on.

Justin Clarke, CEO of Taste Festivals said: “As Billy Connolly said – there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. Make sure you are kitted out in your wellies and your party 
socks.”

The organisers of Slutwalk, marching to the Scottish Parliament today, were also not going to let the weather get them down.

A spokeswoman told the Evening News: “We have advised people to bring something waterproof to wear and we also have some very fetching yellow ponchos for our stewards.” Flooding has caused chaos for travellers in recent weeks.

At the end of last month the rail connection between Scotland and England was cut off after landslides caused by flooding and heavy rain blocked the tracks at Berwick-upon-Tweed.

A Scotrail spokeswoman said: “We urge customers to check their journeys before travelling and to be aware they may take longer than usual.”

A Scottish Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman added: “People should continue checking for information updates on our website and floodline, 0845 988 1188.”