Alarm as river level ‘shoots up dramatically’

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Hawick Flood Group was called into action in the early hours of yesterday (Thursday) as torrential rain sent river levels into the “red zone”.

Alarms were triggered up at Teviothead at 1.22am as the torrent of water rose to dangerous levels - rousing seven members of the local volunteer group from their beds to prepare for a possible deluge. And this was their second outing this week after Saturday morning saw the Teviot at its highest for two years.

Chairman Stuart Marshall told the Hawick News: “Teviothead readings were causing real concern and the alarms went as they were well into the ‘red zone’. With the water rising so fast upstream, we went into action.”

As members reached their Portokabin base at Teviodale Leisure Centre, there was already one anxious member of the public waiting for an update. The police were also in attendance and kept radio and mobile contact with the group as they monitered the Teviot.

Mr Marshall added: “The Teviot had shot up dramatically and was running even highter than Saturday’s flood warning.”

The weekend’s wet and wintry weather saw river levels rise dramatically, to the point where at 6.45am on Saturday morning it had peaked at 2.23 metres. “This was extremely high considering it only had to rise to 2. 5metres to go into the red zone”, stated Mr Marshall. “The highest level ever recorded on the Teviot was at 2.15am on the morning of the October 12, 2005, when it peaked at 3.33 metres, and we all know what happened after that event.”

But thankfully for townsfolk Saturday’s scare came to nothing, and early yesterday morning when the rain stopped it only took an hour for the flood group to receive the data that Teviothead had peaked. Mr Marshall commented: “After a further 45 minutes on river watch we stood down, getting back to bed at around 3am. What a team and what a night.”

But he added: “I wouldn’t be surprised if we found ourselves in for a very busy weekend.”

n A cupressus fir tree on the banking near the walled garden side of the putting green was damaged by the storms on Saturday morning. It was reported to Scottish Borders Council and the area was taped off on Saturday afternoon. The tree has since been cut up and removed.