Severe flooding hits Edinburgh

Picture:  Kate Chandler
Picture: Kate Chandler
17
Have your say

EFFORTS are ongoing to deal with the severe flooding in the Capital which has affected dozens of homes and left many of the city’s parks underwater.

Sandbags were handed out to residents in Stockbridge as on-going flood prevention works struggled to cope with this morning’s incessant downpour.

While no-one has been evacuated from their homes, council workers estimated that more than 40 homes have been badly flooded.

Early reports suggested around 100 properties in the Colonies had been affected, although this afternoon teams on the ground said the situation was not as bad as had been initially feared.

Properties in Bells Place and Kemp Place were among the worst affected, and council teams set up a respite and information centre in Stockbridge Primary School for local residents.

The Edinburgh Accies cricket ground was badly flooded, and the water was up to waist height in places at Inch Park.

Lothian buses warned of severe delays to services including the 3, 29, 31, 33, 37, 47, 49, and 67.

SEPA Issued flood alerts for Stockbridge, Cramond, Roseburn, Warriston, Musselburgh and Haddington, with both the River Esk and the River Tyne at risk.

SANDBAGS

Work is ongoing to protect properties alongside the Water of Leith from flooding, although the council said the problems appeared to be easing.

A council spokesman said: “The Council’s flood prevention team has been on standby since Friday monitoring and responding to incidents of flooding caused by the heavy rainfall.

“The main focus of their activity today has been the Stockbridge Colonies, where between 30 and 40 homes have been affected by flooding from the Water of Leith.

“Sandbags have been provided to residents and the Council’s Emergency Social Work team has also organised Stockbridge Primary School as a standby rest and information centre should any affected residents wish to leave their homes.

“We continue to monitor the situation in conjunction with our partner organisations and would advise anyone with concerns to contact the Council’s Emergency Contact Centre on 0131 200 2000. Updates on the Council’s response to the flooding will be provided via our Twitter @Edinburgh_CC and Facebook page.”

AIRPORT

Severe flooding on the approach road to Edinburgh Airport was also causing chaos for travellers, with one taxi driver saying it was almost “impossible” to get through the water because it was so deep.

Airport fire crews were on-hand trying to clear the worst affected areas from the approach road.

Fire-fighters were using sandbags to stem the flow of water in Bell Place, and Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue said it has received more than 140 flooding related calls since midnight.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency issued 13 flood warnings in Edinburgh and the Lothians and in the Borders.

The Edinburgh City by-pass was closed between Hermiston Gait and Straiton at around 9am due to flooding, but re-opened later in the day, although police warned drivers to take care and allow extra time for their journey, particularly if travelling to the airport.

TASTE OF EDINBURGH

The Meadows was also flooded, leading Taste of Edinburgh Festival organisers to cancel all Saturday sessions.

In a statement organisers said: “This has not been an easy decision but the health and safety of all our restaurants, exhibitors and visitors is of paramount importance.

“We’re continually assessing the situation and will make a decision at 6pm today about whether we will open for our Sunday sessions. We are insured and weather aside, we are doing everything we can to make this possible.

“If we are open on Sunday, Saturday tickets will be valid for entry subject to site capacity.

“Refunds on Saturday tickets will be made but at this current time we would ask visitors to be patient as we deal with some very challenging conditions.”

The organisers said that further communication about refunds will be sent to ticket holders as soon as possible.

To compensate, several of the local restaurants involved in the event were offering free and discounted food to customers with Taste tickets.

And Edinburgh chefs Mark Greenaway and Paul Whitecross organised a pop-up dining event at Summer Hall by the Meadows from 7pm tonight, open to all, to stop their prepared dishes going to waste.

Mark Greenaway said: “I’m teaming up with Paul from restaurant Angels with Bagpipes to give away the thousands of portions of food that we’ve had prepared for Taste of Edinburgh.

“The rain has been a big let down for many but what’s done is done. Let’s move on and let’s make sure that none of this good food goes to waste.

“We don’t care if you’ve got a Taste ticket or not - that doesn’t matter, just come and have some smashing food so we don’t end up having to throw it all in the bin.

FORECAST

Forecasters warned of rain and flooding for much of Scotland on Saturday.

The Met Office issued amber “be prepared” warnings of heavy and persistent rain for central Scotland, Tayside, Fife, south-west Scotland and Lothian and Borders.

They warned members of the public to be prepared for the likelihood of surface water flooding and some disruption to travel and outdoor activities,

Yellow “be aware” warnings were in place for Strathclyde and Grampian.

In Haddington the Tyne is expected to peak in the next three hours, with water likely to backup in road drains and cause localised flooding.

In Musselburgh, areas expected to be affected included low-lying properties on the east side of the river in Station Road, Eskside East, Millhill, Roadway between Shorthope Street and High Street, and similar properties on the west side of Eskside West and the roadway between New Street and Eskside West.