Edinburgh weather: Will there be more flash floods in the Capital? Which areas are the most affected?

Scenes in the Capital have shown flooded streets in New Town, Roseburn and Gorgie as rivers burst their banks under heavy rainfall on Sunday July 4.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 11:51 am
Updated Monday, 5th July 2021, 1:23 pm

After over 40mm of rainfall was recorded in a single hour in the Capital on Sunday July 4, many Edinburgh streets have been overrun with flash floods and submerged under water.

This came after warnings of floods across the UK sprung into life on Sunday afternoon as social media footage showed the dramatic impact of flooding in different areas of the UK, but with floods hitting Edinburgh particularly hard and bringing travel across the Central Belt to a standstill.

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Edinburgh weather: Will there be more flash floods in the Capital? Which areas are the most affected? (Image credit: contributed)

According to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh saw 57.6mm of rainfall in the last 36 or so hours, with other areas around the city likewise seeing soaring amounts of rainfall.

With a warm but wet few days still ahead for the city, there are concerns that these flash floods might run into the rest of the week.

Here’s what you need to know.

Will there be more flash floods in Edinburgh?

@nicolaawilson snapped emergency services helping vehicles which were stuck in flood water under a bridge in Chesser, Edinburgh, during Sunday's stormy weather. (Image credit: @nicolaawilson/PA Wire)

With the Met Office predicting bouts of heavy rain for Monday July 5 and Tuesday July 6, areas known to be more vulnerable to flooding such as Murrayfield and Stockbridge continue to be at risk of flash flooding.

Some heavy rain is predicted for the Capital this afternoon, which will no doubt add to already high water levels in low-lying areas like Cannonmills and add to their continuing flood risk due to their proximity to the Water of Leith.

According to the Met Office, the average monthly rainfall for Edinburgh is 66mm – so yesterday’s figure of 48.4mm rainfall for this month so far is a considerable amount, prompting river water levels to rise across the city.

As such, flood alerts remain in place for Edinburgh and the Lothians, as well as for over ten other locations across Scotland.

Areas in Edinburgh which look to be most at risk of any further flooding are those where surface water flooding and river flooding can combine – such as in Comely Bank, Bonnington, Stockbridge and Roseburn.

You can view the areas most at risk of different types of flooding by using SEPA’s interactive flood maps here.

The Met Office has said that while the weather will dry out across the rest of the week, scattered showers with several heavy downpours should still be expected.

Which areas have been most affected so far?

City centre

Shocking footage circulated on social media yesterday showed the multi-billion pound St James Quarter development getting pummelled by heavy rain, with water leaking down over its galleria into newly unveiled shops and areas still under construction.

The flash floods also hit other central locations, including shops on Princes Street which have to close following yesterday’s downpour.

Gorgie

While not as susceptible to river flooding as other, more northernly areas of Edinburgh, Gorgie is more at risk of surface flooding – with SEPA stating that most locations in the area have a 0.5% chance of flooding every year as a ‘medium risk’ area for surface flooding.

This varies, however, with other areas such as those closer to Chesser and to embankments of the Water of Leith seeing a higher flood risk as a result of the nearby river.

Roseburn

Social media footage showed dramatic scenes of flooding on Roseburn Terrace yesterday (July 4), with images circulating online showing people having to stand on a bus stop bench to keep out of a tide of water gushing over the street.

The area carries both a ‘high risk’ for river flooding and ‘medium risk’ for surface flooding, with the two combining to make the area more vulnerable to the kind of flash floods seen on Sunday.

Stockbridge/Comely Bank

Many businesses on Stockbridge streets like Stockbridge High Street and Raeburn Place have been forced to close their doors to deal with the damage caused by floods in the area on Sunday July 4, with costs expected to tally up as the full extent of damage comes to light in drier conditions over the next few days.

What other areas could be hit by flash flooding?

The Met Office has a yellow warning in place for a range of areas across Scotland, with a band of heavy, slow moving rain stretching from the north west to the south of Scotland potentially seeing areas in East Lothian and West Lothian impacted today.

Drivers have been advised to take caution whilst travelling across these areas and to keep track of travel updates for Edinburgh and West Lothian in particular.

To report flooding in your area, you can visit Floodline’s website and enter any relevant information here or use their quick dial area code to report this over the phone. The Edinburgh & Lothians quick dial code is 23200.

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