Edinburgh weather: Major flooding across the Capital as thunderstorm brings heavy downpours

Edinburgh was plunged into chaos after a thunderstorm brought flash flooding to parts of the city causing disruption to businesses and travel.

Sunday, 4th July 2021, 11:17 pm

Staff at Edinburgh’s brand new St James Quarter were seen mopping up pools of water after the new development saw serious leaks during the bout of extreme weather on Sunday afternoon.

Film footage taken inside the building showed miserable-looking shoppers huddled together in the more sheltered areas of the newly-opened shopping centre as heavy rainfall battered parts of the city.

Flash floods caused chaos in Stockbridge, turning Raeburn Place into a river and forcing local businesses to the area to shut-up-shop temporarily.

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Brenda Pearson, who owns Abacus Blinds and Curtains in Raeburn Place, said: "It's absolutely devastating. There's some stock we will just have to bin - such as sample books that are £200 each.

"It's just a nightmare. We've been shut for so long over lockdown and now this. It's the last thing we need after being shut for so long.

"It went through the basement and everything down there is soaked. We're having to take stuff away to our house to see if we can get it dried out and salvage anything."

Mark Kennedy, owner of nearby printing shop, Print Sponge, was alerted to the flood by friends who sent him a video of water gushing down the street.

Tom and Lauren Holmes, owners of Henderson Art Shop on Raeburn Place, clean up after the flood
Tom and Lauren Holmes, owners of Henderson Art Shop on Raeburn Place, clean up after the flood

He said: "We don't open on a Sunday, so I was at home and a couple of friends sent me videos saying 'have you seen Raeburn Place?' and I realised the videos showed this shop.

"We just have to get on with it. I'll be shut for at least a couple of days, it depends - I'll have to see how bad the smell gets and I'll have to speak to my insurers."

For many business owners in Stockbridge, this is the second flood in less than a year, after heavy rain last summer flooded the basements under their premises.

A few doors down, Tom and Lauren Holmes, owners of Henderson Art Shop, managed to get sandbags to put in front of the door, which they hope saved their business from further damage.

A car struggles in a submerged Gorgie street

Ms Holmes said: "It is the floor around the door that has got the worst of it, most of our stock isn't affected. When we can open again depends on how quickly we can get everything cleaned up.

"If this had happened during lockdown while we were closed, it wouldn't have been so bad. We were lucky because a friend managed to get us some sandbags, but for a lot of businesses further up the street, it's a disaster."

Videos and pictures taken in Comley Bank showed cars partially submerged in water and pedestrians walking barefoot in the rain carrying their shoes.

ScotRail confirmed major flooding between Edinburgh Waverley and Haymarket meant there were some disruptions to rail services.

The Water of Leith at the Falshaw Bridge in Stockbridge

For safety reasons, trains between Helensburgh and Edinburgh ran between Helensburgh and Bathgate only while flood risk warnings were still in place.

A Met Office warning for heavy downpours and thunderstorms came into force at 10am on Sunday morning and was in place until midnight.

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Edinburgh weather: St James Quarter floods as heavy rainfall batters Edinburgh d...

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Princes Street Gardens was also flooded. Picture: Agnieszka Wrona