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Flood alerts across Ross-shire as boffins monitor impact of Storm Ciara

By Hector MacKenzie

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FLOOD warnings and alerts have been issued across Ross-shire and the wider Highlands.

A total of 15 regional flood alerts and 61 local flood warnings are now in force from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

An updated alert has been issued for Easter Ross and Great Glen and in Wester Ross.

SEPA said: "Due to a combination of high tides along with a large surge, wind and waves there is a risk of flooding in coastal areas during Sunday and Monday. The greatest risk is around the times of high water, which on Sunday falls around midday and the following midnight and on Monday falls around 1pm. Remain vigilant and remember, it is your responsibility to take actions which help protect yourself and your property."

Nigel Goody, SEPA's duty flood manager, said: "Overnight and across today, Storm Ciara has continued to batter Scotland with a dangerous combination of high tides, high storm surge and high inshore waves across coastal areas. Whilst we’ve seen some powerful sprays, it’s important that people recognise the significant risks, avoid crashing waves and follow the advice of emergency services and local councils.

"As well as coastal impacts, we’ve seen heavy rainfall cross Borders and Dumfries & Galloway.We’re seeing widespread minor river flooding impacts with significant impacts in a few areas. Avoid driving or walking through flood waters.

“Even as the worst of the rainfall clears eastwards, rivers may continue to rise for several hours as they respond to the rainfall upstream. Whilst we’re seeing an improving flood risk situation as rainfall turns to sleet and snow, people should continue to check the latest weather and travel information from the Met Office, Police Scotland and partner agencies.”

For the latest information on regional flood alerts and local flood warnings, or to sign up to Floodline call 0345 988 1188 or visit www.floodlinescotland.org.uk

SEPA uses forecast weather information provided by the Met Office combined with its own observation of rainfall and river levels and advanced hydrological modelling to provide advance warning of flooding.

Regional flood alerts are early advice that flooding is possible across a wider geographical area.

The purpose of the alerts is to make people aware of the risk of flooding and be prepared.

Flood warnings are more locally specific and are issued for areas where SEPA has gauges on rivers to measure the exact river height. They are issued at shorter notice when the agency is more certain that a specific area will be affected.

SEPA says people should be prepared for the eventuality that flooding will affect them:

• On the road or on public transport we can expect difficult conditions. Drive with care, and do not travel through deep fast flowing water.

• If you are walking along rivers, be also extra careful of wet footpaths and possibly small watercourses in spate.

• If your property is vulnerable you should be ready to take action, assess your risk, if required move your car to higher ground, put in place flood guards if you have such equipment, and protect valuables.

• Report-A-Flood enables anyone to share information on current flooding issues, helping to reduce the disruption which flooding can cause. Share details of any flooding in your area at floodlinescotland.org.uk/report-a-flood/

SEPA will continue to monitor the situation closely. Its flood alerts and warnings can be viewed at floodline.sepa.org.uk/floodupdates or call Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

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