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Dingwall flood prevention work but under spotlight as coronavirus crisis slows progress

By Hector MacKenzie

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Flash floods have been a significant issue in Dingwall, prompting a pledge for action.
Flash floods have been a significant issue in Dingwall, prompting a pledge for action.

ONGOING efforts to minimise the chance of costly damage from devastating flash floods in Dingwall will continue despite the impact of Covid-19 on planned works.

Dingwall and Seaforth ward councillors have been briefed by council officials on what has been done since flooding last year and longer-term plans to safeguard the county town.

Highland Council chief executive Donna Manson told locals she would keep them abreast of plans after the latest floods prompted renewed plans for action.

Some £250,000 was made available for work on Knockbain Burn, including a coarse debris screen, upstream of the existing headwall, and improvements to the operation and capacity of the screen itself.

The pandemic has delayed the works but approval from full council will be sought later this month to confirm these works can still progress. Work on the debris screen is expected to begin early in 2021.

After a flood study, a scheme was submitted to Scottish Government in December. It's believed successful schemes will be announced next year.

A surface water management plan is programmed to be complete by March 2022.

After last year's flooding, CCTV inspection and jetting and the replacement of the outfall screen at Boggan Burn has been completed and an additional gully sucker to cover Ross, Cromarty and Skye purchased.

Improvements have been made to GPS data gathered on when gullies are cleaned.

The provision and storage of more sand bags is being investigated. A trial will be undertaken into providing sand bags to previously flooded residents

Dingwall flood embankment works have also begun, the council says.

Councillor Graham Mackenzie said the already well used gully emptier was welcome and reiterated that he was keen the community be kept abreast of developments.

He said work on Boggan Burn should help as would plans for new gullies on the police station side of the road.

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