‘Emergency help’ available, says Swinney

Deputy First Minister John Swinney.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

A second meeting of the Scottish Government’s resilience committee has been held on weather this evening, as severe flood warnings were issued for Hawick and Newcastleton.

Chaired by Deputy First Minister John Swinney, the meeting saw ministers and key partners updated on the ongoing severe weather affecting much of Scotland and, in particular, the Borders, Dumfries and Tayside.

With steps already being taken to address the impact of flooding on communities and key routes and minimise the risk of further disruption, the Deputy First Minister assured the three areas most acutely affected that any necessary extra resources will be mobilised if requested.

Mr Swinney said: “I have this evening chaired a second meeting of the Scottish Government’s resilience committee, SGoRR, where I have made absolutely clear to representatives of the Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway and Tayside that they will receive any emergency help they need during the current severe weather.

“The torrential rain and severe winds are having an impact across the country this evening but it is being felt most acutely in these three areas. While local authorities and emergency services are satisfied they have all the necessary resources at this present time and, while they are responding admirably, I have reassured them they only need to ask should they need further assistance.

“We will remain in close touch with local leaders throughout the night and stand ready to help in any way we can.

“Across the Borders, people have already been warned not to travel and in some areas residents are being evacuated from their homes into leisure centres and other local authority facilities. In Hawick and Newcastleton, there are severe flood warnings in place and there are a further 73 flood warnings in place nationwide at the present time.

“This weather is expected to last well into tomorrow (Sunday) and we will do all we can to help.”